The Portrayal Of Women In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Words: 548
Pages: 3

John Steinbeck’s portrayal of women in his tale Of Mice and Men is anything but favorable. Steinbeck tells the tale of lost men struggling to find work during the Depression Era, all joining up together as lonely farmhands. Throughout the story, Steinbeck repeatedly shines a light on the corrupting potential of feminine desirability by making all the women in his story prostitutes or deceased motherly figures. For example, Curley’s wife plagues the ranch with her flirtatious manner and cruel words. The swamper of the ranch, Candy, describes Curley’s wife as “a tart” who has “the eye” (28). She struts around the ranch carelessly flirting with all the workers. Apart from that, Curley’s wife is depicted as vicious. Later on in the story, she puts Crooks, the black stable hand with a contorted back, in his “rightful place,” saying "Well, you keep your place then, n-----. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny” (81). Although Curley’s wife comes across as …show more content…
I coulda made somethin' of myself” (88). She discusses her dreams; describing her life before she met Curley, saying "my ol' lady wouldn' let me. She says because I was on'y fifteen. But the guy says I coulda. If I'd went, I wouldn't be livin' like this, you bet” (88). Curley’s wife is unhappy with her life in which she has little control. She has no place on ranch and is stuck with her husband who “ain’t a nice fella” (89). Curley’s wife wished she “Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes- all them nice clothes like they wear” (89). At this moment, Curley’s wife shares a bit about herself, showing that she has lost dreams. She wants to take control and live a full life, despite the fact that most of her opportunities are far behind her. Curley’s wife mourns the death of a dream, as well as the idea that she is now stuck on the