Steinbeck's Portrayal of Women in of Mice and Men

305 Words2 Pages
During Steinbeck's time, women were not held in high regard and they were viewed as only present to serve men. He grew up with the mentality that women were to work in the home to cook and clean. He reveals his outlook on women by depicting them as unintelligent and unimportant. He portrays the only woman character, Curley's wife, as a "tart" whose sole purpose is to bring ruin into the men's lives (Steinbeck 28). They all believe that she purposely dresses seductively and her actions are to seduce the men so they lose their job. His initial portrayal of Curley's wife also shows her to be a mean and seductive temptress. Curley's wife's evil-spirited side is shown when she threatens to have Crooks lynched. She is paralleled to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Curley's wife shattered Lennie and George's dream of a farm the same way Eve tempted Adam to eat from the forbidden tree, ending their paradise. By referring to her as 'Curley's wife' instead of giving her a name he depicts how women were second to men, inferring she was Curley's property. Another reason Steinbeck doesn't give her a name is to show that he believes women are minor compared to men; therefore they don't deserve a name. Steinbeck makes a reference to prostitutes in Sandy's place, illustrating the idea that women were just objects in the hands of men making them victims of society. He exposes the idea that "women are treated as nothing more than sexual objects" (Fisher and Silber 254). It also shows the reality in which women lived: they were insignificant, used and disregarded. John Steinbeck illustrates the injustice served to women in the 1930s. He provides significant evidence throughout his book that support his disregard to females and the roles they take part
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