How Does Steinbeck Present Of Mice And Men?

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How Does Steinbeck Present Curley’s Wife in Of Mice And Men?

Of Mice and Men is a morale motivated novel that allows Steinbeck to voice his opinion about the hardships and issues of the 1930’s and the Great Depression. One of the main issues Steinbeck explores in great detail is sexism and the character that is used to channel the attitude towards women most is Curley’s Wife, the only female to appear in person in the entire novella. However, his representation of this character and how she compares to other females mentioned may give a false and unfair representation of women during the era. During the 1930’s it seems that women were expected to behave in a certain manner or portray themselves in a certain way by conforming to stereotypes. According to Steinbeck in this novella, there seem to be three main types of women in the 1930’s: a feminine woman (like the girl in Weed); a motherly woman (like Aunt Clara) and a wanton woman (Suzy from the whore house). As Curley’s wife was rejected from a more feminine lifestyle after never receiving a letter from a man who promised her stardom, it’s possible that she decided to try a more motherly mind set by marrying Curley.
However, it soon becomes clear that she is not the mothering type when she insults the workers by saying that they’re “a bunch of bindle stiffs, a n***** an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep”. By declaring this, Steinbeck’s portrayal of Curley’s wife changes from a flirt or a “tart” who is unsatisfied with

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