Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men George Milton Quotes
"Seems like Curley is cockier'n ever since he got married."
George grunted. "Maybe he's showin' off for his wife." (2.97-98)
You'd think that Curley would be able to stop showing off now that he's married—but instead it seems worse than ever. Is there no such thing as "settling down" with a woman? Or is it just this woman?
George said, "She’s gonna make a mess. They’s gonna be a bad mess about her. She’s a jail bait all set on the trigger. That Curley got his work cut out for him. Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain’t no place for a girl, specially like her." (3.135)
Is it true that ranches are no place for women? As George earlier compared stability to having "a girl" and presumably raising a family, it seems that if women can’t be part of ranch life, ranch life can’t really ever be stable and happy. Thinking on this leads us to wonder whether there’s no notion of a loving, down-to-earth, farm-wife type of gal that could make these men happy. Are all women trouble, as far as the ranch men see them?
George sighed. "You give me a good whore house every time," he said. "A guy can go in an' get drunk and get ever'thing outa his system all at once, an' no messes. And he knows how much it's gonna set him back. These here jail baits is just set on the trigger of the hoosegow." (3.185)
George—like all the guys—sees women as basically exchangeable objects that satisfy certain needs in exchange for money. And he likes whorehouses, because you know there's not going to be any bait-and-switch. Awesome, George. No wonder you can't find a nice girl to settle down with.