John Steinbeck 's Of Mice And Men

1845 Words8 Pages
In the 1960s, Julie Christie, a British actress once said, “I remember becoming aware of women 's issues and inequality. It became glaringly clear to me when I was living in America that women are regarded as less intelligent than men.” In the 1930s, this idea was expressed to an even greater extent by the American author, John Steinbeck in the novella, Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck epitomizes this idea of women being unequal to men through the example of Curley’s wife, the only woman living on an all-male ranch. She is experiences discrimination in many ways while she attempts to gain power over others. Steinbeck depicts Curley’s wife as an inhuman attention seeker who is constantly pursuing power over weaker individuals. In addition,…show more content…
This portrayal shows how Curley’s wife just craves attention. She dresses herself completely in red as if screaming “Look at me! Notice me!” Dressing like this is one way in which she seeks attention and power. The reader might infer that she flaunts her sexuality in order to attract attention from the men, which would satisfy her desperate need to feel wanted. However, what she really wants is to be valued as a person. One example of how Curley’s wife finally gains power is in Crooks, the black stable buck’s room, when she confronts him for scolding her, Curley’s wife says, “‘You know what I could do?’ Crooks seemed to grow smaller, and he pressed himself against the wall. ‘Yes, ma’am.’ ‘Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny’” (Steinbeck 80-81). Curley’s wife’s tone here is aggressive and excited, and this helps the reader to see that, when given the opportunity to gain power over another, she jumps at the chance. The sensation of having power gives her the feeling of authority, privilege and sovereignty. The reader can infer by her aforementioned reaction that Curley’s wife has missed out on this feeling her entire life, and is frequently the subject of powerlessness herself. When she spots Crooks’ weakness as a black man, she immediately seizes control and makes it obvious to him that she is
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