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"Well, that glove's fulla Vaseline."
"Vaseline? What the hell for?"
"Well, I will tell ya what—Curley says he's keepin' that hand soft for his wife." (2.99-101)
George and Candy snicker about Curley's vanity, but it raises an important question: what do women want? Well, if they're middle-class women in a technologically developed country like America, where the guys all work in offices with fifteen blue shirts and womanly hands, they want a man with rough, worker's hands. But if they're working-class women in the Great Depression surrounded by rough ranchhands (according to Steinbeck), they want their man to have baby-soft hands.
"Well—she got the eye."
"Yeah? Married two weeks and got the eye? Maybe that's why Curley's pants is full of ants." (2.109-110)
You know—the eye for love. You'd think that'd be a good thing in a new wife, but it's not. It just makes Curley a jealous wreck.
Candy's face had grown redder and redder, but before she was done speaking, he had control of himself. He was the master of the situation. "I might of knew," he said gently. "Maybe you just better go along an' roll your hoop. We ain't got nothing to say to you at all. We know what we got, and we don't care whether you know it or not." (4.105)
Okay, we kind of feel like cheering here. Candy might not have been strong enough to shoot his dog, but he's definitely strong enough to deal with Curley's wife. In the end, she's just a woman—and he's a man. (On second thought, maybe hold the cheers.)