In Of Mice and Men, what work could women do around the ranch?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the book, Of Mice and Men, women are portrayed in a very negative light. In the beginning of the book, George and Lennie are running away from the previous ranch where they used to work, because of problems with a woman. At the previous ranch, a woman accused Lennie of rape, because he touched her dress. George believes that women are the cause of all trouble, because they seduce men into behaving in ways in which they ordinarily would not behave. George frequents the "flophouse", which is similar to a brothel, so he has no desire to get married. Curley's wife is the only woman to appear in Of Mice and Men and seems to support George and his views on marriage. Curley's wife is constantly looking for excitement, because of her seemingly boring marriage to her husband. In one part of the book, she makes threats to have the black stable-hand lynched if he makes any complaints to her boss. She constantly flirts with Lennie, which ultimately seals her fate. Curley's wife desperately dreams of a better life, but unfortunately, women do not have a place in this vision of the world. The only jobs women have in this world are to be Curley's wife or work in the "flophouses".

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial