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Based on Steinbeck's work, what was the significance of how women were treated in the...

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bigkuzza | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 4, 2012 at 9:29 AM via web

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Based on Steinbeck's work, what was the significance of how women were treated in the 1930's?

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pencilman | Student | Honors

Posted October 4, 2012 at 10:04 AM (Answer #1)

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it depends on where. in south east asia, the women were treated rather fairly and when the husband passed on, the assests would be handed to the women or her family.

in India, the women would be required to be burned to death with her husband shld he die but the males did not have to if their wives died. by doing so, the woman would have entered sati

if you are talking in fictional context, i am unable to answer as i do not have the necessary infomation 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 4, 2012 at 10:33 AM (Answer #2)

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Steinbeck's work offers a unique position on how women were treated in the 1930s.  On one hand, Curley's wife is seen as an object by most of the men on the ranch.  She is seen as a "vamp" or someone who is able to use her sexuality to get what she wants.  In this sense, she can be seen as an objectified woman.  This is standard, and nothing new.  Yet, at the same time, Steinbeck adds a layer to Curley's wife, best seen in the conversation she shares with Lennie.  Curley's wife is shown to have had dreams, as well, and her condition, like the men's condition, is that to have suffered under the weight of the lack of fulfillment in her dreams.  Curley's wife's pain that she experiences helps to bring to light that, like Crooks, women of the time period had to endure both the challenges of experiencing a social stigma of discrimination as well as the pain of their own dreams not being realized.  For women of the time period, Steinbeck shows how much of a challenge on both levels needed to be endured.  It is in this point where I think that Steinbeck's work reflects how women struggled to a greater extent than men of the time period.

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