Dehumanization Of Women In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men, takes place during the Great Depression in the 1930’s, in the Salinas Valley, California. It establishes the prospect of the American Dream, discrimination,loneliness, and disenfranchisement through its characters. George and Lennie provided the value of the American Dream, to which the leading female role, Curley’s wife, represents how women are exempt from the American Dream, and appeared as less than equal to men. She developed a form of loneliness throughout the course of the novel. The novella seeks to demonstrate the way of which life was like for the characters of all different statuses and backgrounds. Through Curley’s wife’s character, we are able to see how life was like for a women during…show more content…
She was repeatedly attacked against and viewed as less than a human. This quote from the text, “Seen the new kid yet?”(51), gives a correlation of dependent children seeking others for help, to how women were given no power by the society and needed to be dependent on others to fulfill their lives. In earlier days children were heavily disciplined and had no real connection with their parents, that correlates to Curley’s wife’s resemblance to being lonely with no stable connection. They cannot obtain the same, or any, freedom as a man. Consequently, this leads into the next quote, “ Why’n’t you tell her to stay the hell home where she belongs?”(62), that resembles the recurring childlike personna that is following Curley’s wife’s character. In that time gender roles played a substantial part in society. Women were expected to be housewives, tening to their husbands, and to what a women had expected of her. Curley’s wife’s main identification to being dehumanized is the lack of even giving her a name. The novella only introduces her as being “Curley’s wife”. She was not able to reach full human potential in the novel and was broken down to the point where she is nameless and simply less than a…show more content…
Accordingly,within the ranch is the town Soledad, which means alone and gives the meaning behind the characters sense of loneliness that was also influenced by the inability of achieving their dreams. Steinbeck’s quotes, “You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad” (87), that represents the concept that Curley’s wife was traped on the ranch knowing no one else but Curley himself. Before marrying Curley, Curley’s wife had hopes and dreams for being a successful actor. Both of the dreams were influenced and left undiscovered by her mother’s actions. Her inability of achieving her dreams influenced her sense of loneliness as she was then truly alone with nothing left to hold onto and to have going for her. This led to her marriage with Curley and she reminisces how life could’ve been like for her as an actor. Curley’s wife quotes, “Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes-all them nice clothes like they wear. An’ I coulda sat in them big hotels, an’ had pitchers took of me.”(89) that represents her wishful hoping for the dreams she was unable to achieve. This is parrell with the idea of women being exempt from the American Dream. Curley’s wife’s lack of interaction takes a toll on the overall image of her character. Steinbeck quotes , “Why can’t I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely.” that presents the isolation she faces on a day to day

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