Patriarchal Criticism Of Curley's Wife

1594 Words 7 Pages
`Of Mice and Men` is a novella written by John Steinbeck that is set during the era of the Great Depression in 1930’s America. The novella portrays the way in which - despite the consequences of depressed circumstances - human spirit still survives. During the aftermath of the Great Depression, which was a poverty-stricken era, men hoped to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives.
Steinbeck illustrates how people, with the help of friends and dreams, can prevail in the face of all difficult situations such as unemployment and isolation. The novella explores the dynamics of power and social hierarchy, while exploring the nature of life. Additionally, Steinbeck pervades the novella with a religious allegorical depth.
The title `Of Mice and
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John Steinbeck present Curley’s wife in many ways in the book and uses different techniques to manipulate the reader’s opinion, for example, Curley’s wife is portrayed as a flirtatious, dangerous character which could indicate the derogatory manner in which society viewed women in 1930’s America. Curley’s wife is not identified by any other name, which, in my opinion, represents the patriarchal dominance in Curley’s relationship. Furthermore, it could be suggesting that she is not an individual but is objectified as a possession of Curley. Additionally, the only other person in the novella who does not have a name and belongs to somebody is Candy’s “dog”. Curley’s wife being linked with a dog illustrates the significance of a woman in 1930’s America and how low down on a hierarchy they …show more content…
The novella is set in depressing times – Crook is racially segregated, and Curley’s wife is a victim of sexism. However, Slim is a character who does not consider these things, which presents Slim as being somebody who treats everyone equally. Slim is ready to form relationships with people at the lowest levels of the societal hierarchy. Whilst everybody debases Curley’s wife as being `flirtatious` and a `tart`, Slim empathises with her by calling her “beautiful”; and, as some characters are discriminating against others, Steinbeck shows us, through Slim, that it is possible to look past these things and be morally righteous by treating people with equality and

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