Here I am at the ending. My questions have been answered and my worst fears confirmed yet I don’t feel any remorse for Lennie. Am I evil? Maybe.
Lennie seemed doomed from the start and George appeared powerless to stop the inevitable. George was genuinely distraught at the end but at the same time I think it was release for the both of them. The future for them was always going to be bleak and hollow. There really was no future in their occupation and no real hope for a better life. Steinbeck often kills the characters we love the most or the ones we want to see succeed. I think as readers we never want to be disappointed but that’s what life is about. This ending reminds me of the Pearl in which the main character’s infant son dies – it seemed senseless but at the same time its reality. Lennie’s innocence was ultimately what destroyed him, through no fault of his own it was his ignorance that caused the deaths. It was his innocence that caused his own.
Curley’s wife in my opinion is a tragic figure, as we later would learn she was full of vibrancy and life. This vibrancy was crushed once she married Curley and ultimately she became a non-entity. When anyone is robbed of their happiness, of their dreams and aspirations they often become bitter and hollow shells of themselves. I think Curley’s wife used what was at her disposal to hide the emptiness she felt on the inside. She became the temptress, the instigator and the blight on the farm because there was no role for her, no place for her other than being Curley’s trophy. What kind of misery could she have been in that she sought to take it out on others. Being married to someone is trouble enough but being married to someone you don’t like would make any rational woman murderous and perhaps evil. I think its unfair to call her a whore – she might have been flirty, devious and generally an unkind person but labeling her like that is unfair.