Curley's Wife And The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis

1298 Words 6 Pages
In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Gilman, their main female characters are explored through their marriages, their inability to express themselves and limitations due to their gender in a similar time, from the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Both Curley’s Wife and ‘Jane’ were controlled by their husbands, the women are seen as inferior and hence, they are incapable to do what they want, when they want. Both female characters are deprived of the ability to express themselves through any medium so, they find ways to go against their husband’s wishes which in turn characterises the women as disloyal, if not only to their husbands. The two women have to power in their own situations, to make decisions …show more content…
Steinbeck uses imagery to portray Curley’s Wife as “a tart” through the initial description of her character and Candy’s dialogue which shows that the other characters believe she neess to be more faithful in her marriage. (Steinbeck, 29) In comparison, Gilman utilises first person narration to show that the narrator’s husband, John, belittles her and she perceives his actions as normal as “one expects that in marriage” again emphasising that women were definitely inferior (Gilman, 1). In both stories the authors aim to convey that the women are unable to do or say what they believe they should feel able to. Curley is always looking for his wife during the novel, this portrays to the reader that she is his property and he has the right to know where she is at every moment. Through dialogue, Curley’s wife explains to Lennie that she “can’t talk to nobody but Curley” because if she does “he gets mad” while in Gilman’s novel, John’s characterisation has him making decisions on the narrator’s health and freedom. (Steinbeck, 85) He chooses which room she has to sleep in, ignoring her protests to sleep elsewhere, and he says she is “to have perfect rest” and if ‘Jane’ does not “pick up faster” John will send her to Weir Mitchell, the creator of the rest cure. (Gilman, 2 and 4) It is …show more content…
Steinbeck demonstrates that Curley’s wife is not allowed to be her own person with her own identity through the characterisation of her not having a name. It shows that she is Curley 's property similarly, in The Yellow Wallpaper the narrator also lacks identity through her name not being clearly revealed. Curley’s Wife is unable to achieve her dream of being “in the pitchers” and Jane is unable to adjust her own recovery through the rest cure. (Steinbeck 87) This lack of being able to make decisions about their own lives leads to loneliness and boredom so they each find ways to manipulate their own situations to enjoy themselves more. Curley’s wife flirts with the other ranch hands and gives them “the eye” whereas, the narrator ‘Jane’ keeps a secret journal, as John hates to have ‘Jane’ “write a word” and tries to figure the puzzling patterns in her bedroom’s wallpaper. (Steinbeck, 29) (Gilman, 2) Both female characters strive to find an interest in these things to make their life more exciting however, this characterises them as disloyal to their husbands wishes. In the case of Curley’s wife, dialogue used by the author explains that she “gets awful lonely” and it is her way of getting

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