Explore Steinbeck's Presentation Of Curly's Wife

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‘Of Mice and Men’ is a tragic novel set in 1930’s America during time of great Depression and poverty. It portrays the prejudice and clichéd views of a strained American society. Curly’s wife, a character who is detached from the rest of the world, a heart wrenching symbol of the American dream, trying and failing to break down the boundaries of society. This female represents women in the Depression, the lack of freedom and equality that they held, an equality that may still be held from many women to this day . Steinbeck is addressing the struggle for female existence during this period by leaving Curly's wife as the solitary female of the book, unneeded, and unwanted by the other characters. During this essay I will explore the significance of how Steinbeck presents Curly's wife through the connotations of her name, how she is first shown, her parallels with other characters and finally how she is presented when she has died . 'Curly's wife', just a name yet a symbol of how women were then regarded by their husbands, as a possession, a belonging owned only by men. When Curley's wife married him she became 'his', everything she owned became his, Steinbeck could be emphasising this authority and power by having Curly even take her name, so she no longer has her own name but now everyone associates Curley with her, she is no longer her own person. The use of a possessive apostrophe emphasises the point even further that she belongs to him and he controls her, although she can try to push the boundaries of society's rules and expectations, he will always be there to stop her as she is dominated by him. Much like many women in 1930's America who had a lack of importance as they were male dominated. Women held little respect during this era, they had no choice, no voice and no right to vote, they were categorised along with the insane and children. In the
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