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A girl was standing there looking in. She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little-rolled clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers.... Her voice had a nasal, brittle quality.

What is the effect of this description of Curley's wife?


Curley's wife is portrayed as a beautiful, confident, and stylish woman, which aligns with her role as the boss' wife.


The use of the simile, "like sausages," suggests that the men on the ranch don't really see her as a person worthy of respect.


This description ties into the theme of beauty that is first introduced in Chapter 1 with the description of the Salinas River, using Curley's wife to carry this theme through the men's time on the ranch.


This description serves to portray Curley's wife as a ridiculous woman who, with her hair in ringlets and her brittle voice, is almost like a delicate, breakable little girl who does not really "fit" in her adult "costume" of heavy makeup, decorated red high heels, and mismatched cotton house dress.


Curley's wife is introduced this way because Steinbeck wants the reader to empathize with her as a victim whose husband forces her to wear fancy clothes and heavy make-up in order to impress the ranch hands.

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