Curley

Curley is a very aggressive and violent character. He is the Boss’s son and takes advantage of the power that he has over the other men on the ranch to treat them cruelly and pick fights. He is physically small and so is resentful of bigger men and picks a fight with Lennie because of this. He chooses to fight Lennie instead of the other characters because he knows that Lennie is vulnerable, whereas the other men would fight back.

Cruel

How is Curley like this?

The other men on the ranch see him as behaving unfairly and treating people badly because he has power over them due to being the Boss’s son.

Evidence

Seems like Curley ain’t givin’ nobody a chance.

Analysis

Candy says this about Curley when he talks to George. He is an aggressive character who manipulates situations so that he comes out on top.

Aggressive

How is Curley like this?

Curley quickly behaves aggressively when meeting George and Lennie for the first time, even though they have not done anything to threaten him.

Evidence

[Curley’s] eyes passed over the new men and he stopped. He glanced coldly at George and then at Lennie. His arms gradually bent at the elbows and his hands closed into fists. He stiffened and went into a slight crouch. His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious.

Analysis

Curley’s body language is aggressive as he immediately moves into a fighting pose. The way he behaves suggests that he is always on the alert and ready to fight, which is linked to him being a boxer. This comes across as being unreasonable because he has only just met George and Lennie and they have not even had a chance to speak to him.

Violent

How is Curley like this?

Curley picks on Lennie and attacks him violently, despite the fact that Lennie has just been smiling and has not done anything wrong.

Evidence

He backed until he was against the wall, and Curley followed, slugging him in the face. Lennie’s hands remained at his sides; he was too frightened to defend himself.

Analysis

The way that Curley attacks Lennie even though he is not defending himself demonstrates that he is a vicious and nasty character.

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