Wednesday, November 13, 2019

How does Steinbeck in Of Mice and Men portray the position of women Ess

How does Steinbeck in Of Mice and Men portray the position of women in 1930's America? 'Of Mice & Men' by John Steinbeck is set during the depression and highlights the extreme economical and social problems through each character. We see them all aspire to live the 'American Dream', while in pursuit for this life disregard one another and do not acknowledge the importance of friendship, in the world of isolation. Loneliness and dreams are recurring themes through out the novel. Curley' s wife is a key figure with in the novel. On a social level she embodies the position of women during the depression and the way in which their emotions had been ignored. George and Lennie are warned of her by candy when they first reach the ranch. He describes her as ' tart' because she's only been ' Married two weeks and got the eye?', we already have am instant dislike about her and we still haven't met her. Steinbeck has purposely not given Curley's wife a name, which highlights the concept of women's social position during the depression and how they seemed to be viewed as nothing more than a mans possession. In this case she is nothing more than Curley's possession We first meet Curley's wife in the barn house; her presence is almost striking. Her appearance seems to embody the image we had constructed from candy's description; provocative and very suggesting. "She had full, rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made-up. Her fingernails were red" The use of the colour red puts emphasis on the idea of her being a seductress and like a scarlet woman. However it also represents danger; and we are already aware of Lennie's attraction to red. The description of her movements is a projection of her sensuo... ...r she dreams more of being recognised by the masses, she craves the attention that she lacks in the farm. She seemed to view Curley's proposal as a chance for an escape to a better life. We begin to feel sympathy for her, she is trapped in a marriage were she doesn't like her husband, and can't make friends due to his tight rein. Although her fate is tragic, the way in which Steinbeck describes her in the moments after her death is as though she is the opposite person we met in the beginning of the novel. This is significant description in the play; it helps define what Curley's wife and many other woman of that time were, beneath the clothes and make-up. Beneath the actress and the role she played into, was nothing more than a young girl; "The ache and attention were gone form her face. She was very pretty and simple, and her face was sweet and young".

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