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Curley's wife gives us a glimpse into her past that gives her situation more perspective. We understand that she was a girl in a small town with few prospects and low self esteem. She talks about trying to run away to be in the "pictures" but never heard back from the man who made promises. She felt her other alternative was to marry Curley. She admits he is abusive (no surprise there!) but feels trapped. Like all the characters in this story, Curley's wife is lonely. She feels so insignificant that Steinbeck doesn't even give her a name. She remains simply her husband's property.