Sexism In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Great Essays
The 1930s was a time of important yet tragic events in the history of the United States. The Dust Bowl had eroded and destroyed much of the land in southern plains. The land was so arid that many people couldn't make a living from farming in the area anymore. This forced people in the area to migrate to find work to feed their families. Many of these migrant workers moved to the state of California, having hope that one day they could rebuild their old lives. John Steinbeck, the author of “Of Mice and Men”, had a burning curiosity to experience and see the life of a migrant worker. He travelled all across America working and traveling with many of these people. The experiences he had with these people is what motivated him to develop the book, …show more content…
Women were never allowed to do anything without their husbands permission. If they were to talk to any other men, it would be considered provocative. Similarly, Curly's wife, who was always trying to talk to someone, was considered trouble. The workers at the farm thought she was not dressed appropriately and were very cautious of her. While talking to Lennie she says “Wha’s the matter with me?” she cried. “Ain’t I got a right to talk to nobody ? Whatta they think I am, anyways? You’re a nice guy. I don’t know why I can’t talk to you. I ain’t doin’ no harm to you (Steinbeck).” This quote demonstrates that Curly's wife was really alone and had no one to talk to. Women, in this period of time were rejected from society and women's rights were still being improved upon. In the book, Curly's wife also didn't have a name which was symbolic of the fact that women at this point in time did not have their own identity, they were defined by their husbands. Curly’s wife was a very minor character but she played a big role in showing what 1930s were like for women. Alongside sexism, racism was a huge issue in the 1930s. Steinbeck used the minor character Crooks to showcase this idea in the book. Crooks, unlike the other workers, lived in the barn near the animals. He was …show more content…
While he was working with migrant workers, he dealt with people with mental illness which inspired the character Lennie and he also experienced the hope that kept the workers going. These people believed that one day they could lead a good life and that motive helped them stay strong. These experiences helped him truly understand and write characters such as George and Lennie. Steinbeck also included many hints of the time period and what it was like to live in the 1930s as someone of color or a woman. He created the character Crooks for the sole purpose that people understand how African-Americans were treated in 1930s America. This group of people were separated from society and during the Great Depression it got worse because no one wanted to hire them because of their skin color. Women, like Curly's wife also were treated horribly. They were treated as if they were objects and lived only to serve their family. Women had very little rights during this time period and the world wasn't as liberal as it is now. According to the book “Of Mice and Men”, Steinbeck applies many of his life’s experiences and ideologies of the 1930s to develop the storylines of the

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