mice and men - role of women

Topics: Great Depression, Woman, Gender role Pages: 3 (1028 words) Published: January 7, 2014
In the world of migrant workers in 1930s America, the main roles of women was to help and serve men, and were mostly regarded as either domestic housewives, or highly sexualized objects to be used and discarded. Women were traditionally and commonly thought of as the homemakers that took care of the home and children in this time. In M&M, women are represented quite negatively, and as if they are to blame for all the men’s troubles. In the novella, the migrant laborers were unable to settle down and have a relationship with someone; so the primary role of women in their lives is a way of relaxing and relieving themselves from hard work and pressure. Curley’s wife is the major female character in the book. She is domestic, as she is married and is living at home, but characterized as especially flirtatious and like a temptress. She is pinned as a troublemaker and a scapegoat for all the anxieties and difficulties of the characters. In M&M, she is also mostly described by the men as being a prostitute and them commenting on her appearance. This depicts how they thought of women as always trying to please men, and that they are just objects and something for them to look at and for their own gratification. Especially with their lifestyle, and how their only interaction with women is in brothels, they don’t hold them to the same esteem as they do each other at all because they haven’t lived in cities and in modern towns. So, they don’t know how the culture in the rest of the nation is changing because of their isolated jobs as migrant workers. Curley’s wife is always referred to as such in the book; she is never given a name. This could be to describe how Curley’s wife is both an important character in the book and a generic one as well. Leaving the character nameless makes the reader pay closer attention to her, as opposed to if she had an average name. But the term ‘Curley’s wife’ is also a generalization, and it could be used as a term to encompass the idea of...
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