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

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Of Mice & Men
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice & Men is a novel packed with racial and gender inequalities. The way it portrayed the character of Curley’s wife is particularly interesting and spoken about, and for good reason. Throughout the novel, Curley’s wife – who, accordingly, was never called anything else – was consistently dehumanized, and forced to fit into certain stereotypes. It’s also worth noting that Curley is an abusive husband towards her. Curley’s wife is a victim of sexism, correctly depicted by Steinbeck’s illustration of how society used to be.
To begin with, Curley’s wife is pressured by society to fit into the cookie cutter image of what a married woman should act like in the 1920s and 1930s; during the time the book was written
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For example, if he find out that she left the house, and has taken up conversing with the other men on the farm, he wouldn’t hesitate to scream at her in a verbally abusive fashion, or even physically abuse her with slaps, grabbing, and other unwanted rough touches that most would consider physical abuse. It’s also clear when looking at the way he spoke to her and, mostly, about her to others. It makes it seem as if he didn’t think of her as anything other than an object that belonged to him rather than a human being.
To change the topic, all through the work, she was only called Curley’s wife, it’s hard to tell if anyone at the farm knew her real name. This relates back to the fact that she was dehumanized by society’s warped vision of gender roles. It’s also a good metaphor for her general character and its representation.
To conclude, Curley’s wife in the 1937 novel Of Mice & Men is an accurate portrayal of the sexism during the ‘30s. She was mistreated by her husband, dehumanized, and forced into a life she never wanted. John Steinbeck was sexist in his writing, but simply because the time he lived in was as well, Curley’s wife being a victim of its horrors, rather than a

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