Gender In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” - Alice Walker In Chapter 4 of Of Mice and Men race and gender are depicted in different ways symbolizing different character behaviors. For starters, in this chapter race is seen as a barrier between workers. Crooks, a black stable buck, is separated from the rest of the men and lives in a secluded bunk by the barn. These living conditions compare Crooks to more of an animal than man. However, due to being crippled Crooks is more of a permanent resident at the bunkhouse. This allows him to be viewed as more of a piece with the property than a resource that can leave. In the beginning…show more content…
Curley’s wife, the only main female presented in the novella, is depicted as a harlot. The only other time females are mentioned is when they are mentioned as being ladies in whore houses. This depiction sets the tone for all females presented in the novella. Instead of being seen as a worker, women were mainly seen as man’s companion, and as a symbol for love, lust, and desire. In the novella Curley’s wife’s appearance is described as, “Her face heavily made up. Her lips were slightly parted. She breathed strongly, as though she had been running.” The description above presents an alluring and tempting appearance as well as enticing body language. These depictions create a female character that is more focused on men than anything else. However, fitting with the time era women were not seen as anything other than a male’s companion and a house wife. Later in the novella Curley’s wife flared up and says, “Sure I gotta husban’. You all seen him. Swell guy, ain’t he? Spends all his time sayin’ what he’s gonna do to guys he don’t like…” Curley’s wife uses sarcasm as well as aggravation to respond to the men. The quote above depicts a different tone other than lust. She reveals an almost helpless tone. She is aggravated with her husband and uses sarcasm to express her trapped
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