Women In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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The novella 'Of Mice and Men' is a dark allegory about the journey of George and Lennie, during the era of the Great Depression in the US. This story unfolds the truth about their American Dream by depicting the struggles and obstacles that they faced and the outcome of their trials and tribulations. Curley’s wife emerges as a relatively complex and interesting character. Although the reference to her is rather straightforward and simple in the opening pages, her appearances later in the novella become more complex. Curley's wife is initially introduced in the second chapter by Candy. He describes her characteristics based on his personal perceptions. This indeed could cause a biased opinion towards her by the reader as her negatives are…show more content…
Steinbeck always refers to the ranch owner’s son’s wife as “Curley’s wife”. This is evident in the following quotes: "Wait'll you see Curley's wife.” "Jesus Christ, Curley's wife can move quiet…” This highlights the fact that Steinbeck wanted to reflect the significance of women in the 1930s. The ranchers refer to her with abusive words such as tart, bitch and jailbait. This is certainly inappropriate as it implicates that the ranchers were disrespectful to her, despite the fact that she held a higher position in status when compared to the occupants of the bunkhouse. However, in the section 4 of the story, Curley’s wife can be seen as a dominating character as she threatens Crooks to sue him up- "Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny.” This statement indeed signifies that she is aware of the fact that she holds a higher status than Crooks mainly due to the taboo against Black at that time. The ranchers very well known that Curley and his wife are not in good terms; thus reducing her esteem in front of the ranch workers, indicated in the statement- “Maybe that's why Curley's pants is full of ants.” The story emphasises that Curley’s wife occupies the lowest echelon of the social order, which is reflective of the position of women in the social hierarchy during the…show more content…
Perhaps due to the fact that she was the only woman in the ranch. She has no one to speak to, not even to her own husband. She does not get along well with Curley, mainly because there is no love between them as the circumstances forced her to marry him, when she realised that she could not become an actress in reality; all her dreams were going to shatter. Her loneliness is displayed in the quote- "I'm lookin' for Curley,” This statement by her, implies that she is trying to seek the rancher’s attention. Thus indicating that she is always seeking for a friend or a person in the vast ranch, with whom she could share her thoughts. Curley does not encourage his wife to mingle with the ranchers. However she tries her best to blend with the occupants of the bunkhouse as she is in need of companionship. However the impact is contrary as the ranchers move away from her. The ranchers are not in favour of interacting with her as they consider her to be a trouble maker. Her body language and her repeated usage of the colour red highlights the fact that she is always looking forward to get attention from others so that she could get the chance to engage along with them. Thus, expressing her pain, feelings and thoughts with

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