Sexism and women’s rights are shown in many

            Sexism is “prejudice or
discrimination based on sex; especially: discrimination against women” (“Sexism”). Throughout
the book Of Mice and Men by John
Steinbeck, issues surrounding the treatment of women and women’s rights are
shown in many ways. At the farm in California, the majority are males and the
minority are females. The character that shows the readers social injustice of
women is Curley’s wife. As soon as she was introduced she was being singled out
for her gender and was segregated from the men at the farm. Curley’s wife had
no freedom, she was treated like an object, and no one gave her any respect or consideration.

            To begin with, Curley’s
wife is very lonely, and is isolated from the rest of the world. Curley’s wife
states “‘I get lonely,’ she said. ‘You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to
nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anybody?'” (Steinbeck,
87). This shows that Curley doesn’t allow her to speak to anyone else on the
farm, she is secluded and very friendless. Along with not being able to talk to
anyone else on the farm besides her husband, Curley’s wife is also stuck in the
house all the time. I know this because when the rest of the men are gone, Curley’s
wife expresses to Candy, Crooks and Lennie, “‘Well, I ain’t giving you no
trouble. Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while? Think I
like to stick in that house alla time?'” (Steinbeck,77). The impression that is
given here is that Curley demands his wife to not talk to anyone and to stay in
the house to prevent her from causing any problems. The men on the farm
continuously call her trouble, so to stop anything bad from happening, Curley’s
wife is expected to stay in the house away from the other men.

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John Steinbeck
never gives his readers Curley’s wife’s name, she is always referred to as his
wife, or trouble, as well as many other things. When she is first mentioned she
is introduced as Curley’s wife but her name is never revealed. “He felt safe
now, and he spoke more confidently. ‘Wait’ll you see Curley’s wife'” (Steinbeck,
28). Further down the page, she is then called a tart. “The swamper stood up
from is box. ‘Know what I think?’ George did not answer. ‘Well, I think
Curley’s married… a tart'” (Steinbeck,28). This shows that Curley’s wife is
being objectified. Steinbeck didn’t see it necessary to give Curley’s wife a
name because of how common and intense discrimination was against women. Curley’s
wife did not have a name so she wasn’t seen important to the men on the farm.
At one time, she had a name but that ‘privilege’ was taken away from her when
she married Curley.

The amount of
respect Curley’s wife is given on the farm is horrific, she is talked about by
all the men and called terrible names. While Curley’s wife is looking for her
husband, all the men are talking to her and Lennie is fascinated by her. After she
leaves George calls her a tramp and Lennie tries to defend her by called her
pretty, George immediately warns Lennie about Curley’s wife. “George looked
quickly down at him and then he took him by an ear and shook him. ‘Listen to
me, you crazy bastard,’ he said fiercely. ‘Don’t you even take a look at that
bitch. I don’t care what she says and what she does…'” (Steinbeck, 32). The way
that George talks to Lennie about Curley’s wife, and demands him to never talk
to her shows how rude the men are to her. The men are very impolite to her and show
no courtesy towards her, they continuously make fun of her and talk bad about
her.  Curley’s wife is also very
underestimated, the men doesn’t think is very smart and that she won’t figure
anything out. “Lennie looked to Candy for help, and then he looked at his lap
again. ‘He got his han’ caught in a machine,’ he said” (Steinbeck,80). This shows
that Candy and the rest of the men do not think that Curley’s wife will ever
figure out what happened, but she knows as soon as she hears about it. Curley’s
wife is also very underrated because the men think she is only capable of flirting
with men and getting in their way.

To conclude, the
amount of discrimination and prejudice in the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
is unreal. Not only was Curley’s wife treated unfairly, ordered around and objectified,
she was also searching for a friend. There were several characters who experienced
similar issues throughout the book. Most of the book was focused on who was
different was singled out those who weren’t the same as the rest of the people
on the farm. All the characters in this book were isolated and were very lonely
at times. Steinbeck wanted to teach his readers about human existence and the
brutal ways others are treated for being different. Friendless and unhappy is
how most characters felt in this book, they are very helpless and don’t know
what to do.  Crooks believes that life is
no goof without a companion to turn to in times of confusion and need. Although
these characters seem very strong and secure in their lives, they are actually
very weak. They are powerless and have little control over their lives.


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