Essay On Curley's Wife

Decent Essays
In the popular novella “Of Mice and Men”, characters' actions and personalities are used to represent different societal deficiencies and pressures during the late 1930s. Curley’s wife, who isn’t ever named, serves as an example for the treatment of females during this time. As the only active female present in the book, Curley’s wife helps to shine light on the experiences of women in America and how they men viewed them at the time. Her status as a female affected what she could do as well as limiting her basic constitutional rights. This along with the current economic Depression held her back, causing her to be unable to pursue her dreams.
Even in Curley’s wife’s very first appearance, the men on the ranch look down upon her due to her looks and flirtatiousness, especially George. In the second chapter, George scolds Lennie for commenting on how ‘purty’ she is, saying “I seen em’ poison before, but I never seen no piece of jailbait worse than her.” Of course, Curley’s wife
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John Steinbeck, the author, uses this societal pressure as the foundation of how she's treated by the men. Curley’s wife is never named, purposefully by Steinbeck to show the objectification that came with marriage during this time. When she isn’t being referred to as a ‘tart’ or another derogatory slang, her whole identity comes from the fact that she is married to Curley and therefore is his property. One key difference in the way the marriage is portrayed in the novel is the way they refer to each other while interacting with other characters. For example, in Chapter 3, Curley bursts into the men’s bunkhouse, saying “Any you guys seen my wife?” In contrast, Curley’s wife only ever refers to him as Curley, his given name. Many interactions like this display how respect isn't necessary concerning Curley’s wife, painting her in a picture of uselessness and vanity because she is a
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