The exclamation mark after “no –look!” may indicate the raising of his voice at the realisation of the important impact Lennie has in his life. This is the impact that has kept George and Lennie together not the promise to Lennie’s ‘Aunt Clara’. Although George acts as a father figure to Lennie to depict Lennie’s needs in reality it is to shadow his ‘want’ and personal needs for Lennie. The ‘want’ is due to George knowing that if he gave Lennie up it would only increase in his loneliness and the fragment of hope that leads him to believe he can achieve the American dream would vanish.
As Steinbeck has introduced Curly’s wifewithout a name yet every other character in the book including Crooks, a black man who is isolated from all the other men owns a name. His intentions by doing this are to reflect the status of women in the 1930s and to depict the treatment of her husband towards her. During this time women were seen as possessions and owned by their husbands. As a result of women relying on their husbands for provisions it allowed men to have a stronger hold of them. This is shown when Curly finds his wife dead, at the mention of staying with her to mourn her death ‘his face reddened’ and he said “I’m goin”.
His reasons for leaving her is not because he wants to take revenge for her death but because he’s still trying to highlight his masculinity, this is interpreted as Curly uses the repetition of the word ‘big’ when describing Lennie to indicate that the killing of Lennie would only boost his self-image. Steinbeck has done this to demonstrate her loneliness even after her death and to confirm the deficient relationship between curly and his wife. This emphasises to the reader that women did not have any status to such a degree that they were treated like cattle since they were used for the personal needs of men.
The demise of Curly’s wife symbolises the death of her dreams. As a result of this the affirmation that the American dream was that of a fictional fantasy and that the people during this era made up fantasies to present themselves with hope. Although her dream is now dead Steinbeck has shown the reader that the death has relieved her of an existence full of distress and loneliness. ‘The meanness andthe plannings and the discontent and the ache for attention were all gone fromher face.’ Depicts this new found freedom. Steinbeck has used the rule of three with the words ‘meanness’ ‘plannings’ and ‘discontent’. He has assigned her these qualities to cover up her suffering and isolation.
Likewise Lennie’s death also illustrates the death of a dream and emphasises the fantasy of the dream. But unlike curlys wife George is not set free from a burden but has become trapped in the world of a typical ranch worker. This is exemplified when George reminds Lennie of their dream and thatthey’ll “live on the fatta the lan’.” In doing so he is additionally reminding himself of what is being lost with the intention of reliving his dream before it is killed.
Steinbeck has used the theme of loneliness to illustrate the similarities between George and Curly’s wife. The main similarity is their masks. The character of George uses his strength as Lennie’s guardian to shield his inner vulnerability as an anxious man who is afraid of what the future holds. Curly’s wife uses her feisty character to hide how unhappy and depressed she is.