Women in of Mice and men
Candy: ‘Well I think Curleys married…a tart’
George: ‘She’s gonna make a mess. They’s gonna be a bad mess about her. She’s a jail bait all set on the trigger. That Curley got his work cut out for him. Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain’t no place for a girl, specially like her.’ Lennie: ‘I think shes purty’
Whit: Clara gets three bucks a crack and thirty-five cents a shot, and she don't crack no jokes. But Suzy's place is clean and she got nice chairs. George: "You give me a good whore house every time," he said. "A guy can go in an' get drunk and get ever'thing outa his system all at once, an' no messes. And he knows how much it's gonna set him back. These here jail baits is just set on the trigger of the hoosegow."
Throughout the book women only have four different roles: a wife (Curley’s wife), motherly character (Aunt Clara), an aspiring actress (Curley’s wife) and a prostitute (Suzy). Women are portrayed in the novel as not being valued because they are not physically strong and during the time of the Depression, those who could work were viewed with higher respect. Georges says that the ranch ‘aint no place for a girl’ showing that in fact women weren’t even supposed to be on the ranch. Curley’s wife is the only main female character in the novel, highlighting her status as an outcast. She is never named because she is not defined by her name, but by her struggle as a being a woman. She symbolises being trapped in a marriage with only a few options, like most woman during the 1930’s. Referred to as a ‘tart’, the ranch men do not perceive her as a real human being and view her as inferior to them. She is bored with her life on the ranch so is constantly looking for excitement or trouble. Throughout the book she is deemed as a ‘troublemaker’ however, Steinbeck does offer a sympathetic view of Curley’s wife by allowing her to voice her unhappiness and her own American Dream for a better life away from the ranch....
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