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Curley's Wife in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men The story OF Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is set in California, U.S.A through the Great Depression in the 1930s. The Depression was a time of economic downturn which caused very large unemployment in western nations, among the worst hit being the U.S.A.. This caused a lot of people to become homeless and Jobless, this also cause individuals to become horribly miserable in the harshest of life and in certain events people even went on to commit suicide. People who were really rich lost everything they had all their land all of their cash. This compelled the government to pass the New Deal that is where individuals became migrant workers and were granted work from place to place on farms. The lifestyle and conditions for the migrant farm workers was really unpleasant. In the story Curley's wife is one of the main characters. She's married to a man called Curley that has a great deal of authority from the ranch because he is your boss's son. I think that Curley is a self centered man who cares about no one except himself. This affects on her a lot as well, I believe that this is why she acts like she's doing. The only reason she'd get married to Curley would be to spite her mom. To answer the question fully I need to first find out what the work 'awful' means. The significance is a) Disastrous; normally distressing; very sad. B) Of tragedy. So to answer the question entirely I will need to explain how Curley's wife and some different characters fit in to this description. In the story the personality of Curley's wife could be regarded as tragic figure in the narrative because I believe she's wasted her whole life.