Of Mice and Men, one of Steinbeck 's classic novellas, is constructed on the strange friendship between George Milton and Lennie Smalls and their journey to achieving the American Dream. On their quest, they arrive at a farm where they meet a nameless farm wife who is simply referred to as Curley 's wife. Throughout the novella she is objectified and isolated which helps develop the theme of loneliness. Because she is a woman, she is deprived of many opportunities to have dreams and goals in her life. Steinbeck crafts Curley’s wife’s character to demonstrate the role of women in the 1930’s, and to prove that women will never be able to achieve the American Dream because of the sexist society present during that time period.
Gender roles during the 1930’s were very prevalent. Men were free to do as they pleased while women were expected to be submissive housewives, meaning they must stay home alone and tend to the house. Curley’s wife is a perfect example of this as she was also expected to stay home without the freedom to socialize with others since she was the only female on the farm. Because of that Curley’s wife desperately desired a person she could talk to. In the story, while the ranch workers were off playing a game and Curley was busy, Curley’s wife decided to approach Lennie, a mentally impaired man with superhuman strength, and confide in him disregarding the potential risk on her life when being around a mentally unstable person.“I never get to talk to
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In such time of the Great Depression and gender equality, this novel presents the character of sexism, Curley’s wife, to show how her dreams has been achieved through death. During her talk with Lennie, she tells him that she “‘[...]never get[s] to talk to nobody [and that she] get[s] awfully lonely’” (Steinbeck 86). Even though she is depicted as a flirtatious, “‘[...]purty [...] bitch’”, her true life was lonely and segregated from the male ranchers (Steinbeck 32). Steinbeck applies this paradox in the story to picture the reader about how a character’s identity can either encourage or ruin his or her reasons to live and achieve a future.
In the time of this Curley’s wife is in the barn with one of the men Lennie when the quote was said she was next to him talking to him when Lennie was with the dog and she states “‘I get lonely,’ she said. ‘You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anybody?’” (Steinbeck, 87).
Curley’s wife is the wife of the Bosses son, Curley. In the novel Curley’s wife represents different themes such as loneliness, innocence and dreams. We learn this as we are introduced to her character and learn her story. Her overall purpose in the book is simple- she is a ‘tramp’, who ruins mens happiness however as her character develops, she becomes more complex and we learn about her vulnerability and innocence. Steinbeck also shows the portrayal of women in 1930s America, showing that women were treated as objects and could only get attention through their physical appearance.
In the story “Of Mice and Men “, Curley’s wife is an outcast. First, Curley’s wife has no friends on the farm, she became lonely and wants to talk to people on the farm (86). Curley’s wife become’s an outcast by no one talking to her, so Curley’s wife becomes lonely and walks around the farm looking for a conversation. Indeed, Lennie from the ranch is told not to talk to her or look at Curley’s wife (86). This action right here caused Curley’s wife
This essay will explore the way Steinbeck uses language and structure, to present the character of Curley’s Wife to create sympathy or dislike. Throughout the novel, Steinbeck has presented Curley’s wife as the only women on an all-male ranch, this is a chance given to represent the women’s attitude, and attitude towards women during the 1930s. Curley’s wife is also presented in a sympathetic and unsympathetic way throughout the novel. Steinbeck presents Curley’s Wife nameless throughout the novel as “Curley’s Wife”, which suggests that women did not have an identity or value, and were seen as possessions of men (objectified). This creates sympathy, as it shows women were treated like second class citizens.
Curley’s wife is described as an attention seeking woman who is desperate and yearns for recognition because of her loneliness and her unsuccessful dream of being an actress. In section 6, Curley’s wife desperately tells Lennie her story of when she was young, she was promised fame and a chance to be on a show, “but my (Curley’s wife) ol’ lady wouldn’ let me (Curley’s wife)”. This expresses that there are always obstacles that prevent people from succeeding just like how her mother refuses to let her be in the show and be an actress to get the attention she always yearns for. People start off with great potential, viewing their dream as obtainable and as their biggest motivation, but in this cruel world, they are only reaching for a tragic aim. Moreover, Curley’s wife expresses that she will never stay in a place where she “couldn’t get nowhere or make something of myself (herself)”, but what she does contradicts what she says, instead of having a better life or gaining recognition, she marries Curley and is back into a similar or even worse situation she started from.
Things start off well, but take a turn quickly. George and Lennie are the main characters, but some of the other characters can be deeply examined too, through different literary lenses. Curley’s wife is one of these characters, whom could be identified by many literary lenses. However, we will focus on one lens, the Gender lens.
American Dream American Dream has many different definitions in this day and age. For some it 's starting from little and making their way up to a successful prosperous life. For others it 's reaching happiness and a family. And for some the American dream is freedom but however the American dream is portrayed they all have something in common and that is happiness.
Curley’s wife throughout Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is discriminated by the men on the ranch because she is a woman. Curley’s wife is the only woman in the ranch and has no one to talk to and is left out because of her gender, and for being considered a threat. Curley’s wife gender separates her from the others because when she tries talking to the other men she pushes them way from her because they’re scared of losing their job, knowing that Curley is the boss’s son. “ I get lonely, she said.
Someone once said, “A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.” The character known as Curley’s Wife in Of Mice and Men is portrayed in John Steinbeck’s writing as an antagonist. Multiple time throughout the book she is insulted by the men, who call her things such as a tramp, or a tart. As the story continues, there are many hidden indications that she could be seen as a much simpler, innocent presence, rather than an evil. When looked at more in depth, Curley’s Wife can be seen as a victimized character.
World of Sexism Due to the Great Depression, women’s rights took a back seat to employment and poverty. It was believed that women shouldn’t work but stay at home, clean, cook, and raise their children. The prejudice against women in the society was great back in the 1930s for they were degraded and underestimated. All the rights they had gained in the 1920s were neglected and the women were once again maltreated. In Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the victim of sexism is Curley’s wife who is so insignifact that even a name was not provided for her.
Similarly to Lennie, Curley’s wife also feels left out and different from everyone else. She is not considered a “normal” wife, or have a “normal” hope for her future. Most people during this time hoped to get married and become a housewife; Curley 's wife aspired to be an actress and only married Curley when it did not work out. Curley’s wife told Lennie, “I ast her if she stole it, too, an’ she said no. So I married Curley (Steinbeck 88).”
Since 1931 when James Truslow Adams first created the phrase “the American Dream”, people believed that America continuously offered everyone an equal opportunity to be successful. John Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men, was set during the Great Depression. Farms were struck hard during the Depression, and the two main characters George and Lennie were farm hands during this time. They had experienced the misunderstandings of other farm hands in terms of Lennie’s mental disability, but they were trying to earn enough money to buy their own farm. The idea of this farm drove Lennie and George to keep working, and like many others during this time they hoped to achieve this dream.
A Dime in the Rough What does it mean to be an American? Having freedom, being a patriot, your own way of life? Being an American is all of this and much more. America and the American Dream have been very controversial topics for the last hundred years, they are key elements that give people within and outside America the feeling of hope and positivity in their day to day lives. Elie Wiesel, a famed article writer and a survivor of the holocaust, is a perfect example of what a positive and hopeful view of America on the outside looks like.
This scene shows that Curley’s wife never wanted to be on the farm, she wanted to go be a star and get out of her small town. This dream ended when she married Curley, who moved her to an even smaller town. In addition, during this time period it was practically impossible for women to divorce their husbands. This meant she couldn’t leave Curley, even in the name of the law.