Mr Legowski’s 10xEN1 home learning – due Tuesday 4 February

I really enjoyed Friday’s discussion about Curley’s wife; there were some excellent contributions. Mr Hindmarsh enjoyed what he saw of it too. Well done everyone!

Your home learning is to write a definitive, individual answer to the question posed on Friday: does Curley’s wife deserve our sympathy? Make references to the novel, Steinbeck’s letter to Miss Luce (here) and the 1993 film adaptation for a fully-rounded answer.

An independent enquirer working at:

  • Grade C will come to a judgment about Curley’s wife, summarising information about her from across the different texts.
  • Grade B will evaluate the effect that the language used by Steinbeck has on your understanding of the character.
  • Grade A will examine Steinbeck’s own attitude towards Curley’s wife and compare this to how he portrays her in the novel.

Answers in the comments box below, please.

Mr Legowski

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19 thoughts on “Mr Legowski’s 10xEN1 home learning – due Tuesday 4 February

  1. Jordan

    I think that Curley’s wife does deserve our sympathy in the way she is described in the letter, but not how she is described in the book. For example, in the letter Steinbeck says “If you could ever break down a thousand little defenses she has built up, you would find a nice person”, however in the novel you aren’t told this and she is not seen to be a nice person. Steinbeck could have done this to show that people could be a certain emotion on the outside, but a different one on the inside.

    Reply
    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Thanks Jordan. I’m glad you’re sympathetic, even if (in your opinion) she’s not portrayed sympathetically in the novel. BTW, I wonder what evidence you’d use to prove this? C-grade answer. Mr Legowski

      Reply
  2. Ruby W

    I think that Curley’s wife does deserve our sympathy because she is very alone on the ranch. It seems that Curley married her for her beauty and to have something else to show off his wealth and prominence. He shows no regard for and feelings, personality or spirit she has shown. His only real interest in her is when other men are paying her attention. She seems unloved and out for a better life like she had been offered when she was younger. She most likely married Curley because of advice from relatives to marry in to wealth instead of happiness. She flirts with the ranch workers to make up for the lack of attention that she is shown by her husband. She is alone and seeks friendship but her only contact with males has been in the sense of pursuing a relationship meaning that female friendship is what she needs but is not accessible to her for she is kept in the house or the ranch. If you witnessed this so called life would you not have any choice but to take pity on this lonely misunderstood and unloved woman. I know I do.

    Reply
    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Thanks Ruby, me too. This is very well-developed and I agree with every word. It’s a strong C but with evidence from the text(s) and a focus on the language used, it’d be a B. Good work in class recently too, Ruby – keep it up! Mr Legowski

      Reply
  3. Rosie

    Personally, I believe that Curley’s wife does deserve our sympathy. In the book, she comes across as the type of person who wants attention and likes to cause a bit of trouble every now and then, but that is all just for show. When it comes to part before she is killed, her and Lennie are having a talk. From the dialogue between these two characters, we can tell that she is being open and honest to Lennie and she is opening her heart to him. In the letter, there is a part where Steinbeck says: “…if you could ever break down a thousand little defenses she has built up, you would find a nice person, an honest person, and you would end up by loving her.” This tells us that the character of Curley’s wife is someone who is heavily guarded and doesn’t let her true emotions show. She has experienced hurt before and in order to avoid feeling it again, she is blocking out anything that may cause her to fall in love. This makes us feel sympathetic towards her, as we feel sorry for her and can now understand why she acts the way she does.

    Reply
    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Thanks for this B-grade answer, Rosie. You’ve made reference to the novel and quoted directly from the Luce letter. If you could consider Steinbeck’s own attitude towards the character, this’d be an A-grade answer. Oh, and well done again for taking part in the socratic discussion in Friday’s lesson – you were put on the spot but you delivered. Mr Legowski

      Reply
  4. olivia

    I think that she does deserve our sympathy in the novel as she is very lonely at the ranch as Curley isn’t very interested in her. By the way she acts in front of George and Lennie it does come across flirty but that is only because she wants some attention. Curley’s wife also has her dreams set to be well known and at the ranch she only wants a bit more attention from the men. In the letter it says, “If you could ever break down a thousand little defenses she has built up, you would find a nice person” from this I can tell that once you know part of someone’s life which ever way it comes across, like for Curley’s wife it’s a bit full of herself, we can always find something nice about that person.

    Reply
    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Thanks Olivia for this B-grade reply, thanks to the references made to the novel and the quotation from the Claire Luce letter. Do you think Steinbeck himself has any sympathy for Curley’s wife? Mr Legowski

      Reply
  5. Chloe

    I think that Curley’s wife does deserve our sympathy because we don’t really know everything about her yet, she could be a really nice woman who just wants attention because she doesn’t get that from Curley or anyone else at the ranch. I think that Candy is being too harsh on Curley’s wife, just because of the way she is, for example flirting with almost every guy she sees. I know it isn’t really giving herself a good name but like I said, I think it’s because she doesn’t get much attention from Curley.

    Reply
    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Thanks Chloe. She’s just lonely, isn’t she? And is her behaviour really THAT bad? Well, perhaps in the 1930s it’d be unacceptable but times, norms and morals have moved on. It’ll be wise, I think, to bear this change in society’s values when we read this novel and not just at this character. Mr Legowski

      Reply
  6. james c

    yes, i think that curly’s wife does deserve sympathy. this is because george and candy automaticly think she is horrible and that she is a ‘bitch’, when they have barley got to know her (not to judge a book by its cover). for all we know she could be a really nice miss understood person. for example, stienbeck says she has ‘sausage’ like hair. this doesnt exactly say any compliments about her. In the film her first scene in my opinion she comes across as a really nice understanding person who is emidiatly jumped on by george.

    Reply
    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Thanks James. I’m glad you’re sympathetic towards her too; I think most of the class are, to be honest. Please try to be absolutely accurate with everything you say (‘In the film…she comes across as a really nice UNDERSTANDING person’ – how do you know she’s understanding?). Also, you MUST punctuate every piece of writing, whether in books or blogs, correctly – every time! Mr Legowski

      Reply
  7. Lucy

    I think that Curley’s wife does deserve our sympathy, as from the way she is described in the book, she is only seeking attention due to perhaps a lack of attention from Curley (even if it is in a sexual way). The letter gives me the idea that Steinbeck feels for her too, “…if you could ever break down a thousand little defenses she has built up, you would find a nice person, an honest person, and you would end up by loving her.” As for the film, i am not sure as i have not yet watched it.

    Reply
    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Thanks Lucy. I agree that Steinbeck’s letter shows his sympathy for her – what other passages from the letter would prove this? As for the film, I think we’ll do a lunchtime viewing of it; I’ll put a notice up about it this week. Mr Legowski

      Reply
  8. Sophie

    I don’t agree that Curley’s wife deserves our sympathy. Why should she get sympathy if it is her that caused her own loneliness, etc. Curley’s wife flirts with all of the men on the ranch and doesn’t make an effort with her marriage, therefore we shouldn’t sympathise for her. If she was to try to be with Curley and be a good wife, then she would deserve our sympathy because she is lonely and excluded after all. However, like I said, she doesn’t make an effort so she hardly deserves our sympathy if she could make it right herself. She is called names by George and Candy, such as “bitch” and “tart” but these are merely because she has given herself that name.

    Reply
  9. Kiera

    I think that in some ways Curley’s wife does deserve our sympathy because on the ranch she is the only woman and has nobody really to talk to the she can relate with as she is not allowed to talk to the men. I also think she deserves some sympathy because being stuck on the ranch in the house she can’t achieve her dream of becoming an actress and near the end of the book she expresses this to Lennie, but he doesn’t understand so she must feel upset because the first person she opened up to doesn’t seem to care about her loneliness, he is more worries about rabbits. But also she doesn’t deserve our sympathy in some ways as she earned the names ‘bitch’ and ‘tart’ by flirting with the other men.

    Reply
  10. Samantha

    I think that curley’s wife deserves some sympathy as i think that she doesn’t mean to communicate and show her self in the way she does, i think that she does communicate in this way because she doesn’t no how else to. Even if she was trying to get attention from other men it could be due to neglect from curley and therefore is not her fault. From what is said in the book i don’t think she actually betrays Curley by going with other men, from what i can tell she just flirts with them occasionally. George over reacts once curleys wife left and judge her too quickly before getting to no her and understand what she is truly like.

    Reply
  11. Georgia :))

    Personally, I do think that Curley’s wife deserves sympathy as Curley does not seem to take much notice in his wife and it is as if he only married her due to her beauty and because he knew she would be a push over. Curley’s wife comes across as a dominant character by the way she dresses, does her make-up and also the way she is confident and flirty around the men on the ranch… but thinking of it, she is a very lost, vulnerable character with no way out. She must be lonely being the only women on the ranch. On the other hand, it is obvious that Lennie struggles in life and is less understanding of things around him than others, I do think it unfair that Curleys wife chose him to flirt with and attach herself to, especially considering previous incidents with Lennie. It was harsh of George to judge her so quickly and negatively but he is only looking out for Lennie, after all everything did turn out bad.

    Reply
  12. Erin

    I think that Curley’s wife does deserve our sympathy. This is because I think she is lonely on the ranch being the only woman, I think that the way she acts towards the men is the only way she knows how to as she hasn’t had feminine company for a long time. I think that the men on the ranch misunderstand her and think of her as ‘poison’ and ‘a rat trap’ which is unfair to say. We don’t know much about her so it wouldn’t be fair to judge her when we don’t know much about her background and what her marriage to Curley is like behind closed doors.

    Reply

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