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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.
Lennie's eyes moved down over her body, and though she didn't seem to be looking at Lennie she bridled a little. She looked at her fingers. "Sometimes Curley's in here," she explained. George said brusquely, "Well he ain't now."
"If he ain't, I guess I better look someplace else," she said playfully.
Lennie watched her, fascinated. George said, "If I see him, I'll pass the word you was looking for him."
She smiled archly and twitched her body. "Nobody can't blame a person for lookin'," she said. There were footsteps behind her, going by. She turned her head. "Hi, Slim," she said. (2.145-150)
"Bridled," "arch," and "twitch": is it just us, or is Curley's wife sounding a lot like a cat rubbing against a pole right now? Given the way Lennie's looking at her, that's … not good news.