Explore the Presentation of Women in Steinbeck’s ‘of Mice and Men’ and Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess.’

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In both the 15th and 20th centuries, the lives and roles of women were very similar. They were very much considered the weaker and less important sex. Hundreds of years passed and yet the role of women remained the same. John Steinbeck and Robert Browning both wrote at a time where women were very low down in the social hierarchy. Steinbeck’s novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ and Browning’s poem ‘My Last Duchess’ focus on the presentation of women in the 15th and the 20th century, and they provide a crucial representation of the view of women in these two time periods. ‘My Last Duchess’ is set in the Italian Renaissance of the 16th century, however it was written in the 19th. Women were very much a man’s possession, having no say in what they want in life. The poem strongly shows women as being the inferior gender, much like John Steinbeck’s novel ‘Of Mice and Men’. Published in 1937 it provides a clear representation of the struggle women faced in the 1930’s. During that time period, men were considered to be the dominant sex and women were pushed down the social hierarchy. They struggled for equality and were faced with minimal rights in society. Women were seen as no more than a man’s property, a sexual object, demoralising them greatly. During the 1930’s, men were also faced with the struggle of keeping a job and pursuing their American Dream; the belief of having and living off their own business and land. In this novel, we are introduced to a very complex character named Curley’s Wife. In the beginning, the way she presents herself and acts gives the reader the impression that she is a provocative, dangerous character that shouldn’t be trusted. However, towards the end of the story, the reader discovers she is a very misunderstood woman, who is looking for the love and attention she doesn’t receive from her husband. She’s desperate for her life to change after a long

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