Of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men

Throughout history, women have been seen as inferior. During the Great Depression, women were not granted the same rights and freedoms as men. Curley’s wife experiences many of the same injustices that women did during that time. The negative perception of women develops in Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men due to the fact that Curley’s wife is not given a real identity or a purpose throughout the novel. She is consistently seen as a sex object rather than a human being and is restricted in what she says and to whom she says it too. Her husband, who does not let her speak to any of the men on the ranch, which makes her into being lonely, controls her. Curley’s wife is not named in the story, and is treated by Steinbeck as an object, a possession of Curley. Although she appears multiple times throughout the storyline, there is no specific name that anybody gives her. All the other characters (whom are all males) have their own name or nickname. The only nicknames she gets are “tart”, “bitch”, and a “tramp.” The names that she is being called are not sweet nicknames, but derogative and offensive words. In the eyes of the men, she is insignificant and unimportant. Curley distrusts his wife as the other men do. Curley’s wife even verbalizes that the only reason she married Curley was to spite her mother, not out of love for Curley. She declares to Crooks, Candy, and Lennie, “Well I aint giving you no trouble. Think I don’t like to talk to someone ever’ once and while. Think I like to stick in that house alla time?” Ever since she married Curley she has felt isolated and depressed. She makes use of her beauty to get the ranchmen to talk to her, even though Curley forbids it. This displays the stereotypical sexist remark that women are seen as housewives, cleaners, and cooks. Men put women at an inferior level. Curley’s wife leads a life of loneliness. All of her attempts to change that are rejected or misunderstood....
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