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

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The portrayal of women in American society in the early 1900s was misogynistic. This viewpoint is illustrated in John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men set in the early 20th century in the west where women are illustrated as catastrophic and sexual objects by the ranch hands. These ranch hands believe that women are either simply for “cracks”, paid sessions for sex, or to seduce and lure men into trouble as depicted with the character of Curley’s wife. She is described as a “tart”, malicious, and has a supposed “eye” for other men. In addition, she is personified as a possession because she is only ever referred to as Curley’s wife and never her own name. However, she later confesses that she is much more complex than that. Steinbeck invokes sympathy from the reader when he reveals that Curley’s wife is human and similarly isolated and hopeless like the other ranch men. The reader…show more content…
For instance, the men on the ranch speculate that Curley’s wife intends trouble and an affair because she is constantly looking for the men on the ranch in the bunkhouse or stable, places she has no business in without her husband. However, Curley’s wife confesses her everyday life when she tells Crooks, Old Candy, and Lennie that she enjoys talking to them rather than talking to nobody (Steinbeck 78). In addition, she discloses to them that Curley gives her little regard and that she loathes staying in their small house all the time. As a result of the lack of attention she receives, she utilises her young and seducing looks to obtain it from any body. Steinbeck writes Curley’s wife as isolated like the lonely ranch men that come and go which appeals to the readers’ feelings. Her actions are a result from her lifeless marriage on the ranch. To add, her seclusion from companionship is an example of her hopeless dreams she never
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