She is the reason for the absence Of light in the bunkhouse. “Sunshine in the doorway was cut Off… ” This foreshadows her negative and dark dynamism towards the ranchmen’s. Symbolically this could also represent an obstacle to George and Lien’s dream. Curlers wife knows her beauty is her power, and she uses it to flirt with the ranchmen’s and make her husband jealous. She likes to impose herself upon people, for example Leonie and Crooks. This is because she sees them as weak, and from that she can hopefully get friendship and comfort, which is what she really wants.
She is isolated; she is the only female on the ranch, and her husband has forbidden anyone to talk with her. She contends her loneliness by flirting with the ranch workers. A major barrier is based on gender: The bunkhouse is a male world, where women are not to be trusted. Curlers wife is always looking for attention, but Curler’s jealousy causes all the men to stay away from her. Although Curler’s wife is often depicted as cruel and troublesome the real thing that segregates her is that she is a female in an all-male world.
She is singled out in the novel and this makes her a lonely character, ‘Mint got a right to talk to nobody’. This is where Curler’s wife is talking to Leonie and she feels welcomed because Leonie doesn’t know the trouble that he could get in for talking to her. Steinbeck seems to show, through Curlers wife, that even the worst of us have our humanity. She is married to a man she doesn’t love and who doesn’t love her. There are no other women on the ranch and she has nothing to do. She tried to befriend the ranchmen’s by hanging around the bunkhouse.
Curler’s wife admits to Candy, Crooks and Leonie that she is unhappily married, and crooks tells Leonie that life is no good without a companion to turn to in times of confusion and need. Steinbeck clearly wants the reader to feel sorry for Curlers Wife she shares her feeling with the other characters in the novella, which are lonely too. In the barn scene, however, Steinbeck creates sympathy for Cur levels wife by exploring her dreams. Her “best laid plans” involved being in the movies with all the advantages, money, and pleasure that would give her.