From the Weak to the Strong: The Social Hierarchy of Mice and Men
Since the beginning of society men have always followed a social hierarchy; a concept Charles Darwin studied intensely. Through this ideal, the strong prey on the weak and the weak are isolated, taken advantage of, and often humiliated. In the novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck recreates a social hierarchy between his supporting characters to prove that those who are weak and vulnerable are subject to ostracism and ridicule. At the bottom of the hierarchical chain, Lennie becomes the epitome of what Steinbeck believes is the weakest, most “unfit” member of society. Darwin’s classifies “fitness”, in a social manner, as the ability a person to adapt and integrate …show more content…
Women are mostly irrelevant throughout Of Mice and Men and when they are introduced they are regarded as either pleasure givers or pleasure seekers. The pleasure givers are women who reside in a brothel and are worth only “two an’ a half” (52). The other women are automatically categorized as pleasure seekers which can be seen though Curley’s wife who, in reality, simply craves some company since she “never get[s] to talk to nobody” (86). Steinbeck fails to even dignify her as a person by refusing to give her a proper name. Instead, she is referred to as Curley’s wife: a piece of Curley’s property. Those above her in the hierarchy ignore or silence her voice, especially in regards to what she aspires to be or to have, her dreams. She is completely ostracized by the other men on the ranch because of her prescribed reputation as pleasure giver since she is a woman, so when Curley’s wife is able to socialize with the only person with whom she can, someone who is lower than her socially, Lennie, she relays her “story quickly, before she could be interrupted” (88). The fact that Steinbeck places Curley’s wife above Crooks and Lennie in the social ladder emphasizes how futile those characters are; if a character viewed as a piece of property is placed above another character than that latter character must be significantly
In Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Men, power struggles are an evident topic in social groups, racial groups and between individuals. Lennie struggles against his ill-equipped mind’s way of viewing the world, Crooks faces discrimination because of the colour of his skin, and three separate people all experience feelings of loneliness and isolation.
John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. was an American author wrote many novels including one of his most famous, Of Mice and Men. Of Mice and Men teaches many lessons about the nature of human existence. Each relationship grows throughout this short story and end with a dramatic experience. All of the characters, including Lennie, George, Crooks, and Curley’s wife, admit, at one time or another, to having a profound sense of isolation, seclusion and loneliness.
Generally, during the course of the novel, women are viewed negatively. They are seen as objects, not real people. For example, throughout the novel, Curley's wife is merely known as 'Curley's wife'. She is never called by her real name. The term 'Curley's wife' implies she is owned by Curley, and not a person with freedom. From this, the reader can tell that Curley's wife lives in an unfair World, in an era of inequality. This suggests Steinbeck
Essay about Curley’s wife Curley’s wife is the only female character in the novel Of Mice of Men; Curley’s wife is never given a name and is only referred to in reference to her husband. Like the other people on the ranch, she is very lonely and has dreams of a better life which never come true. The author John Steinbeck introduces Curley’s wife in a symbolic ness way, this is shown when George is talking to Lennie about the dream and when Curley’s wife first meets both the men. “Both men glanced up, for the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off.
John Steinbeck uses different methods to present Curley’s Wife and women in the 1930s. Throughout the novella Steinbeck represents women to be lower in society than men. In the novella women only have three different roles. A wife, an aunt and prostitutes. Steinbeck uses these roles to show the roles of women in society. Curley’s wife, Aunt Clara and Susy and Clara from the cathouse represent he microcosm of the women in American society.
The next time Steinbeck presents Curleys wife is in her conversation with Lennie, Candy and Crooks. In this extract we see how Curleys wife clearly enjoys having power over others and because she is the only girl on the ranch she is prone to discrimination by being made to feel like one of Curleys possessions. We first get
The novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck emphasizes the division in social classes and social structure based on power. The novel and its themes are based around the characters’ interactions and decisions. Their motivations come directly from other characters, and the social construct on the ranch that controls the characters within the novel. Each character has their own journey of giving into the powers that control their society and lives which leads to each of their own inescapable demises.
You can judge a society by its treatment of the old, the weak, the helpless and the needy. Through the narrative conventions of foreshadowing and characterisation, John Steinbeck, in his novel Of Mice And Men, published in 1937, is able to effectively reveal the imperfections of America’s capitalist
A social issue that Steinbeck desired to reveal in Of Mice and Men was the reality women were facing as they were regarded as property or objects and not as individual people in the 1930s. Women would often times not even have the chance to defend and explain themselves against this cynical perspective on them, “Well, I think Curley's married a tart... ‘Listen to me, you crazy bastard,’ he said fiercely ‘Don’t you even take a look at at that bitch’...You mean Curly's girl?” (Steinbeck 28, 32, 55). The first thing we hear George say about Curley’s wife is that she’s a tart and the second thing we hear about her that
John Steinbeck uses Curley 's wife to portray the woman 's role in the 1930s. Back then, women were treated as property and trophies to their husbands. Women 's insignificance is signified by the fact that Curley 's wife is never given a name. She is always referred to as Curley 's belonging. Additionally, Carlson 's statement about Curley 's wife needing to go back to her place where she belongs characterizes women 's roles by saying that women should be at home performing domestic chores. In essence, women were looked down upon and never seen as equal to the men.
The character of Curley’s Wife is very hard to unravel, as throughout the book, Steinbeck’s representation of women through characters such as George and Candy, is very harsh. This is because the sociological opinion at that time was that they were either, mothers, sisters, or prostitutes,
Curley’s wife constantly complains how lonely she is as Curley is not around most of the time. This drives her to wander about the ranch talking to other men and questioning them about Curley's whereabouts. As most of the men are in town, Curley’s wife wanders to the barn where Candy, Crooks, and Lennie are currently located. The men question why she is there and see her as a nuisance. But, she stays and discusses her struggles with loneliness. “‘I get lonely,’ she said, ‘You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley, else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to nobody’” (Steinbeck 87). In other words, Curley’s wife is left alone by Curley so much that she feels the need to talk to anybody that she finds. This is why she wanders about the ranch all day and talks to any men she can find. This demonstrates how women were treated during this time; they were thought to be unimportant and were often left alone by their spouses. Curley’s wife did not have a name, which shows how unimportant she really is. Women were thought to be of no use, leaving them to not have the ability to achieve the American dream.
In chapter one of “Of Mice and Men”, we are introduced to the characters Lennie and George. The book starts with describing a serene scene of a valley with a river running through it. The book then focuses on the two characters that emerge out of the forest. One with sharp features and strong stance and the other looking as though he is still in his pubescent years. As the chapter progresses, the author, John Steinbeck, allows readers to catch a glimpse of the characters’ relationship with each other and see the inner workings of their symbiotic partnership.
In the novella, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the diverse set of characters individually handle oppression on a daily basis. For these characters, racist, sexist and degrading remarks are normal for the time period (early 1900’s). The story is about two men, Lennie and George, trying to find work in a troubling economic time while also trying to overcome Lennie’s mental handicap. They also meet other people that have to overcome their own “setbacks”. The author shows oppression of the characters through their effect on others, actions, and their dialogue.
One character in the story does not even have a name: Curley’s wife. Steinbeck illustrates her as someone who is a pawn of those around her. On the surface, she is reduced to a rude and selfish woman. But, if one looks deeper, Curley’s wife’s gender and class hinder her high aspirations and reduces her to ridicule. Her husband restricts her contact with others and does not show any affection towards her. She reveals this while