Throughout the novel of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the author reveals that there were false expectations based on gender through the character of Curley’s Wife. The amount of sexism and discrimination of women was explicit. Curley’s wife just wanted to fit in without being judged. She never found what it was like to be truly happy because he life ended to short. Perhaps if people put gender aside, Curley’s wife could have lived a longer
The present and future generations will never perceive the fight women went through to receive their rights. During the mid 1900’s women were expected to run the house rather than venture into the real world and work. Differences between men and women were very defined in the wrong ways in that time period. As the women worked their hardest, but all were ignored for their positive aspects. Although the women of that era were restricted the rights of education.
He considers his wife inferior and weak. Throughout the story he seems to wave away problems that his wife has with the home. For example, she wants to remove the yellow wallpaper from the room and John just laughs at her and tell her that if he does this, she’ll just ask for more. Refusing to give her what she wants and keeping her trapped within the yellow-walled prison of his making. John often attempts to make it where the protagonist cannot even think.
In the novel Esperanza explains how Sally says that she “Enjoys her life” page 104. When really, Sally’s husband wont allow her to have any of her friends over. Sense her husband wont allow her to do anything without his permission, Sally has begun to enjoy staring at the walls. We know from this that in reality Sally only wanted to escape, but she only made her situation worse. Esperanza is learning from the mistakes that Sally has made in her life.
Valencia portrays the average housewife and the general unhappiness of married couples. Edgar Derby shows how wars bring out the worst in people, and Bertram Rumfoord is symbolic of the apatheticness of officials who hold power. They are indifferent to how the consequences of their actions affect helpless citizens, and do not view the masses as ‘human’. Vonnegut’s intent in adding these symbolic roles is to deepen the meaning of the novel and to further carry the message of the theme to the reader. Valencia, who epitomizes the average housewife, also represents the unexpressed discontentment of many married couples.
The narrator seems to be sane at the beginning of the story, but her husband’s attempts to cure her actually made the condition far worse. He confined her to a room and took away the one thing she loved to do; using her imagination as a writer. He stated that she should not be socially active, as it will worsen her condition, but being in isolation actually made things worse. She disagreed with his actions, but was unwilling to go against him. One example is when Charlotte said, “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus -- but John says the very worst thing that I can do is think about my condition and I confess it always makes me feel bad, so I will let it alone and talk about the house.”
Even when women were successfully pursuing these careers, they were removed from work and intensely discriminated against. This act gave women the only choice of staying home and taking care of the kids and the household. This post WWII effect caused a harsh barrier between genders and what their roles in society “should” be. Men played the more dominant roles in society. In the family aspect, they were known as the suppliers of the family, expecting to come home from work with a home
According to Priscilla L. Walton, author of He took no notice of her; he looked at me: Subjectivities and Sexualities of ‘The Turn of the Screw, a gender criticism of the Turn of the Screw, “The governess of the novel serves as a representation of the “problematic nature of single women and their sexuality” (Walton 349). Women with a job and no husband threatened the patriarchal society because she could not fulfill her motherly duties of having and raising children. But in some ways becoming a governess can fill some of those desires relating to children. Through being a governess, a woman can fulfill the raising children aspect of a woman’s identity as she was a substitute mother to the children she is caring for. A governess gets to take care of the children and raise them so that they are successful in the future.
In some cases, people believed inequality, but they would not risk their social status in order to fight for women. Sexism is still a problem today and I believe it was bred from various of generations of that constant mentality. I believe that the men who read this article in 1972 scoffed at it and said “Women should know their place.” Women, however, were most likely motivated and empowered by articles like this one. Women who were dumb and brainwashed by their sexist husband probably read a piece such as this one and quickly told themselves that woman should always stay at home, “it’s just the way life is.” If I were to live in the 1970s, I would have been apart of every feminist movement ever held. This type of writing inspires me, but also angers me as it most likely did to some women when this was written.
The housewife stereotype took control of suburbia and created a predetermined role for women. Social expectations of women pressured them into researching how to be the best possible housewife. Looking after the children, cooking meals, and keeping the house clean were some of the many tasks they had to complete around the house. As Betty Friedan wrote in the Feminine Mystique, “there was a reoccurring problem among women that remained unsolved”, many women experienced feelings of emptiness and boredom. An interview that Friedan captured explains this more, “I love the kids and Bob and my home”, she begins to, “feel I have no personality”.