Curley's Wife's Significance in "Of Mice and Men"

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The significance of Curley’s wife in the novel
In the period of the 1930s in America there were lots of forms of discrimination: one of them was sexism. Women were not seen as equal to men: they had fewer rights than men, were paid less and most of them were only allowed to take care of domestic chores. In that period of time, women started realizing how submitted they were to men, so they began having ideas on how they could improve their lives and gain more independence. They had their own American Dream. Curley’s wife perfectly represents the “average woman” in America in the 1930s. She would like to depend less on her husband, she has a fantasy of becoming a renowned actress and she feels secluded and miserable. She has to live in a male dominate society (“ranch ain’t no place for a girl”) and has to face the fact that she will never have all of the freedom she is hoping for. Her life is the exact opposite of this “dream”. Curley’s wife is considered to be useless, but as a character, she has a great importance: in fact, without her characters some events in the novel would have not taken place. Examples of there are the crushing of Curley’s hand, her death and Lennie’s death. Curley’s wife is probably one of the most important characters in the novel. Steinbeck used her character to show the context in which the novel Of Mice And Men is set. However, she is treated unfairly by the men on the ranch, that only see her as trouble and tend to avoid her. Curley’s wife is extremely lonely, and she realizes this: “Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while?” and “Standin’ here talkin’ to a bunch of bindle stiffs – a nigger an a dum dum and a lousy ol’ sheep – an’ likin’ it because they ain’t nobody else.” She is isolated because she is the only woman on the ranch, and because of this Curley is possessive over her. She is not even important enough to be called by her own name: throughout the whole novel she is always referred to as “Curley’s...
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