Of Mice And Men's Treatment Of Women In The 1930s

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Just His Wife In the past, women were expected to be maids, housewives, beauticians, and school teachers. With the increased popularity of feminism, women are becoming recognized as equivalent to men. In the novella Of Mice and Men, there was only one woman on the farm. The woman, Curley’s wife, was always disrespected, all of the men on the ranch always thought that she wanted to cheat on her husband. Curley’s wife accurately portrays the treatment of women in the 1930s. Women in this time period were treated differently than modern working women. In the 1930s, women were expected to do “women’s work, ” they were often accused of stealing men’s jobs. During World War II, women had to fill the shoes of the men that left for the war. The women…show more content…
Many women were not treated with any respect and given very low wages. In the 1930s there was a cigar workshop in Detroit where a lot of women worked, “There were 4,000 women, most of them Polish, working in six shops. Their grievances—confirmed by a fact-finding commission—included working six and seven days a week for a pittance, poor ventilation causing women to faint, and inadequate toilet facilities.” (Grevatt) No man or women should work without pay, clean air to breath, or proper bathrooms. The owners of the cigar workshops were told to fire all of the women, just because they were women. When the shop owners ignored them, the police became involved. In the Bernard Schwartz plant, “Detroit’s police broke down the doors of the Bernard Schwartz plant, dragging the fighting women out by their arms, clothing and hair. Police beat sympathizers, even throwing a pregnant woman off her porch.” (Grevatt) All of these events happened because women wanted to work and support their families. Women had no trouble putting in the effort to work, but men had a problem with it. Even in the novella, Curley’s wife was promised an opportunity, but she never heard back from anyone. Curley’s wife told Lennie, “‘’Nother time I met a guy, an’ he was in pitchers. Went out to the Riverside Dance Palace with him. He says he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural. Soon’s he got back to Hollywood he was gonna write to me about it.’ She looked closely at Lennie to see whether she was impressing him. ‘I never got that letter,’ she said.” (Steinbeck 127) She probably never got the letter because women were not supposed to be rich in the 1930s. They were expected to go home and be housewives. If Curley’s wife was a man, she could have been a rich movie
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