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?
steinbeck uses colours and charcter dialog to show atitudes towards women, most women in weed dressed up in red so the males thought they were trouble, he uses short and decerative sentences to show harshness to women and rhetorical questions to show that the women cant defend them selves. steinbeck ultimately i think tries to show some of the reality of the life of a genuin women in 1930's