Curley's Wife And Crooks

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“No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself” (John Steinbeck). John Steinbeck, American author of local color novella Of Mice and Men, attempts to give voice to and normalize victims, the “other human beings,” of the 1930s American social standards. Pariahs of the Great Depression period are introduced throughout the laborious journey embarked on,with the aim of achieving the conventional American Dream, by Lennie Smalls and George Milton.Although their positions in the culture of the ranch are very different, Crooks, Candy and Curley’s wife are similar in that each represents an outcast who is scorned by mainstream culture and struggle to find a comfortable “place” in society.…show more content…
Only 10 years prior to the 1930s were women granted the right to vote, only then did American society start to consider women as separate entities in comparison to their husbands or other male figures in their life. Curley’s wife, however, continues to be in close association with Curley, her husband. Similarly Curley’s wife is intentionally not given a name that individualizes her from Curley, this encapsulates the notion of the 1930s society that deems women as property of their husband thus estranging them from having their own dreams, opinions and a chance at a successful independent lifestyle. This is made apparents when she exclaims that she “could of went with shows. Not jus’ one, neither” (78). Ordinarily Curley’s wife seeks acceptance and companionship from male figures on the ranch, and she is represented as a flirtatious person. This is symbolic of how women were outcast as useless and unsuccessful, illustrating a woman’s sole purpose in society as pleasing and showing affection to the man. Ironically, Curley’s wife attempts to find a comfortable position in the society, which has outcast her, by oppressing Crooks. This is evident when Curley’s wife threatens Crooks by exclaiming that she “could get [Crooks] strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny” (81). Despite the hardships Curley’s wife faces she doesn’t hesitate to diminish Crooks optimism and
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