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Of Mice and Men

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Introduction

10x1 Mr Dellow How Does the Role of Women Affect the Novel? In this essay I will be discussing and analysing how the role, or roles, of women affect the novel 'Of Mice and Men'. The novel is set in the 1930's during 'The Great Depression' and features three women: Curley's wife, who lives on the ranch and is representative of the stereotypical suppressed wife, Susy the brothel owner who represents the role of women as solely sexual objects and whores, and lastly, Aunt Clara - a mother figure to Lennie. These are the three archetypal women in the novel and in this essay I will be evaluating their influence on the novel. ...read more.

Middle

Curley's wife allows us to appreciate the role of women in the novel and women at that time that had to suffer from great loneliness in the ranch, outnumbered by a large number of men. 'Think I like to stay in that 6 by 4 house listening to Curley?' Her pitiful relationship with Curley or even the agony of her loneliness results in her playful, engaging behaviour. Curley's wife 1 resembles the stereotypical wife on a ranch in the 1930's. Deciding on whether his wife is a tart or victim is significant to understanding the real message behind the novel and enables the reader to understand the role of women on such ranches. ...read more.

Conclusion

Firstly she presents herself as maternal character 'her hands on her hips, and she frowned disapprovingly at him.' this suggests, Aunt Clara must have looked after Lennie like a mother figure when he was younger. 'I told you' This is a demonstration of her guiding influence over Lennie and how she was an important character in his life. Aunt Clara is a typical mother and helps the reader value the role of a mother and how it influences the novel. All three women are crucial in the development of the plot and have a great impact on the reader. Their roles help to raise awareness of the women during the 'Great Depression.' Women can be seen in a triad of roles; wife, mother and whore. The novel exposes sexual discrimination, sexism and the hierarchy of male over female on the social ladder. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This question focuses on the roles of women and the thematic effect it has on John Steinbeck's novel 'Of Mice and Men'. This candidate has done well to structure their answer, if a little systematically. There is no problem with ...

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Response to the question

This question focuses on the roles of women and the thematic effect it has on John Steinbeck's novel 'Of Mice and Men'. This candidate has done well to structure their answer, if a little systematically. There is no problem with this however, as it ensures that each woman is commented on in turn and received analysis. The candidate also has done well to correctly identify (quite crudely in some cases) the three main roles of women at the time of The Great Depression. What could be better in terms of Response to the Question is the balancing of analysis in each character. The candidate has realised that there is very little that can be said about Susy and Aunt Clara because we never actually meet them, but we can say a lot about their roles, which is why this candidate didn't fare so well in this area or in Level of Analysis - there is far greater depth that can be explored with regard to these roles.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is fair but quite consistently, there is very little insight given - the candidate only comments on what appears obvious, or writes as if regurgitating information given in a lesson from memory. Where they succeed though, is the sound contextual appreciation of the social and historical influences of the novel and the role of women at the time the novel was written. In doing this, they display an ability to consider the attitudes and values of another time period and how the roles of the character reflect that period.
The comments made are all fine and show a low C grade appreciation, but due to a lack of quotations from the text (even from Steinbeck's narrative) and how a limited selection of scenes show only one facet of Curly's wife's role within the book and the play, and there is little explorations of what she wants to become - as that is another role of women at the time is should be commented on.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is sound. However, a wider range of punctuation could have been used to improve the strength of the response in term of candidate confidence. There are no glaring spelling errors or grammatical inconsistencies that compromise the meaning of the answer, though these would easily be ironed out with a spell-check and a proof-read.


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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 28/02/2012

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