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How does steinbeck explore different attitudes to women in of mice and men?This is a...

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zakaria123 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 20, 2012 at 4:53 AM via web

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How does steinbeck explore different attitudes to women in of mice and men?

This is a english language. Please give me an answer of no less than 500 words.

Thank you.

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hu97 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:24 AM (Answer #1)

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well if u looked at previous anwsers for this question u would have found myn.

There is a single female character in Of Mice and Men. She is not given a name, but referred to only as "Curley's wife".

This lack of a name is significant in the context of your question and for the context of the essay you are developing.

Curley's wife is, socially speaking, a marginal figure. She is a minority and has very little power in the world. Introduced as a "tart" and a trouble-maker, Curley's wife is presented in increasingly sympathetic ways as the novel progresses.

In the end, instead of being a trouble-maker, Curley's wife is a victim. Not only is she is victim of a murder, but she is also a victim of circumstance, having married to get away from home only to find herself trapped on the ranch where she has no friends, nothing to do, and is allowed only one relationship.

There are two other mentions of females in the novel: Lennie's aunt Clara and the madame of the local brothel.

An essay on this women in Of Mice and Men can focus on:

  • The various ways Curley's wife is portrayed (tart, lonely outcast, thwarted dreamer/sympathetic lost soul)
  • Her stereotypical dream/unrealistic dream of being a movie star.
  • How Curley's wife compares to the other female characters mentioned in the story.
  • Are the female characters equally participant in stereotypes compared to the male characters?

Sources:

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nignognadzzz | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 25, 2012 at 6:11 PM (Answer #2)

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Many people are under the impression that Curley's wife is the only female character in the novel. However, there are others such as the girl associated with Andy Cushman, the girl in Weed, George's 'dream girl', Aunt Clara and Suzy and Clara the brothel owners.

Here are a few points you could cover:

# Attitude from Crooks towards Curleys wife. Even though she is female, Curleys wife has more authority over Crooks because he is black. This is a good point to cover in your essay as its the opposite to many other attitudes to women in the novel.

# Women are portrayed as trouble makers in the novel, for instance Andy Cushmans girl. She is only mentioned briefly in the book however she is quite significant. George says to Lennie 'Andy's in San Quentin right now on account of a tart'. The woman is blamed for the fact that Andy's in prison however Andy must have done something to her for him to be put in prison, right? The same goes for the girl in Weed. George said that she rabbited and told the law she'd been raped. This sentence makes it sound like the girl was in the wrong and that she shouldnt have told the police what had happened. Portrays women to be unloyal and untrustworthy.

# Steinbecks attitude to Curleys wife when shes dead. When the narrator speaks about her, he describes her in a pristine way, her rosy cheeks, ache for attention ect ect.

# The men speak highly of the prositutes but not Curleys Wife

#Georges dream girl. 'I could live so easy and maybe have a girl'. George dreams of a girl that is handy around the house but also innocently beautiful. Prejudice against women, expects them all to be like this.

I hope some of these points help those who are reading, good luck!

~Nadz

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