Compare how women are presented in ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘An Inspector Calls’.

Topics: Social class, Of Mice and Men, Great Depression Pages: 4 (1770 words) Published: January 8, 2014
‘What freedom men and women could have, were they not constantly tricked and trapped and enslaved and tortured by their sexuality’ – John Steinbeck In ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘An Inspector Calls’ both authors indirectly show their beliefs and opinions towards women and the way they are treated by society. In the time both texts were set- 1912 and the 1930’s- women were generally seen as a lesser class than men and due to their sexuality, they were not treated fairly. Steinbeck and Priestley show this at many points in their texts. Both Eva Smith and Curley’s wife are victims of their class as Eva is victimised by each member of the Birling Family, who each make her life harder and each of them are ultimately partially responsible for her death. Inspector Goole also makes it clear to the reader and the Birling family that Eva is the victim when he says ‘A pretty lively sort of girl that never did anybody any harm.’ The character of Eva also conveys how hard life was for many young women in 1912 who had no family and was unemployed which meant she had no income to provide for herself. Eva was also a lonely character, much like Steinbeck’s character ‘Curley’s wife’ who was longing for not only male attention, but any attention as Curley did not give her the attention she wanted. Curley’s wife is also a victim of her class as she has little, if any, power over anyone else on the ranch and is practically at the bottom of the hierarchy, despite being the daughter-in-law of the ranch owner. This makes the reader sympathise with Eva Smith and Curley’s Wife. Furthermore, in both texts the audience is invited to dwell on Eva’s and Curley’s Wife’s vulnerability at the hands of others caused by their gender and class. However, we get more of an insight into the lives of victimised women in ‘OMAM’ through the character of Curley’s wife as she is physically in the text and we see how the men on the ranch treat her directly; whereas, in ‘AIC’, Eva Smith’s life and character...
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