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The son of the ranch owner, Curley is a man of short stature who is nevertheless a formidable boxer. Curley is aggressive, boastful and cocky, with a volatile temper and a tendency to provoke conflict with the weak, as he does with Lennie. Part of Curley's bravado stems from anxiety over his new wife, who everyone widely suspects of being "a tramp." He spends a great deal of time monitoring her, believing her to be off with other men when she is not under his supervision.