The only woman on the ranch, Curley’s wife is viewed as a “tart” by the men who surround her. Young, lonely, and desirous of attention, Curley’s wife spends her days roaming around the ranch looking for someone to talk to—even though she knows that the men all around are reluctant to talk to her for fear of incurring the wrath of her jealous husband, Curley. Curley’s wife regrets the path her life has taken, and laments having missed her chance to move to Hollywood and become a movie star. To make up for her misery and loneliness, she tries to connect with other people, but finds herself thwarted at every turn. She even attempts to bond with Lennie by trying to connect with him over their shared love of soft, nice things. But when she lets Lennie stroke her hair, she becomes frightened by his strength and starts screaming, prompting Lennie to suffocate and shake her until she dies. Curley’s wife, like Lennie and Crooks, lives an existence defined by solitude and marginalization.
Curley’s Wife Quotes in Of Mice and Men
The Of Mice and Men quotes below are all either spoken by Curley’s Wife or refer to Curley’s Wife. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Of Mice and Men published in 1993.).
Part 5 Quotes
“Why can't I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely.”
Related Symbols: Lennie’s Puppy
Page Number and Citation:
Curley’s Wife Character Timeline in Of Mice and Men
The timeline below shows where the character Curley’s Wife appears in Of Mice and Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...ago, and has been “cockier’n ever” recently in an attempt to show off for his wife. Curley’s wife, Candy whispers, has “got the eye”—in other words, she’s flirtatious, and has been... (full context)
...and Curley are arguing—Slim says he’s sick of Curley constantly asking him about his own wife’s whereabouts. Carlson urges Curley to get control of his wife before he has trouble on... (full context)
...about the dead puppy, Lennie reasons, he won’t stop Lennie from tending the rabbits. Curley’s wife asks Lennie why he’s so obsessed with rabbits, and Lennie replies that he likes to... (full context)