So we can see that her relationship with men, in this case Rebecca is dominating. She seems to be in control of the relationship. For example when she won’t hand over the knife. Or after they have the argument when Isaac hits her she says “No man has ever struck me twice and my husband shall have no second opportunity. Set the door open and let me go. From this day fourth we shall see each other no more. ” Before Isaac even had a chance to reply she had left. She got a say in what happened and she ruled her own life. She also came off better. Isaac continued to live in fear but she had no one to fear.
Curley’s wife, however, seems to be more vulnerable. We know Curley is violent from the fight in the barn with Lennie. He is very strict with her and he is the dominant one. See lives in fear of him. During the whole story of ‘The Ostler’ we discover very little about Rebecca’s past. She is a suspicious character all the way through who has an atmosphere of mystery surrounding her. The writer keeps us gripped by using suspense. Will she kill him? Is she evil? So as the aim of the story seems to be to entertain through a horror genre style she plays a big role in influencing the mood of the story.
If we knew about her past it may act as a narrative signpost ands show that she is liable to be violent. We could see motives or events in her past that her shaped her character. So Wilkie Collins didn’t tell us her past so she didn’t give any more clues away. In ‘Of Mice and Men’ Curley’s wife plays a less important role compared to Rebecca in ‘The Ostler”. She is only introduced to us in the second chapter of the book. The descriptions we here of her are the opinions of the other men working at the ranch. They don’t seem to think very highly of her. The call her names like ‘Tart’, ‘Jail Bate’, ‘Tramp’.
This suggests, in my opinion, that they still had very sexist views. We don’t find out much about men’s views of women in ‘The Ostler’. This may be because John Steinbeck was aiming to inform us of what life in the 1920’s ion America was like whilst Wilkie Collins was aiming to entertain. When we meet Curley’s wife later in the chapter she seems to flirt with the men who spends most of her time looking for someone to talk to. Her looks, like Rebecca, are also described in some detail. “She had full, rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her finger nails were red.
Her hair hung in little round clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton house and red mules, on the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers. ” Her main advantage seems to be her beauty. Her looks certainly attract the attention of Lennie. She is presented as very sexy and attractive by the written, John Steinbeck, who seems to constantly remind us of her stunning looks and soft voice. Again there is a similarity between the two books. There is a narrative signpost. George says ” Don’t you even take a look at that bitch. I don’t care what she says and what she does.
I seen ’em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jail-bait worse than her. You leave her be. ” … “Well you keep away from her, ’cause she’s a rat-trap if I ever seen one. ” Already the writer is making us wary of her. We later see her in conversation with a few other characters. But the next significant part is when she meets Lennie in the barn. Lennie has just killed his puppy. She begins talking to Lennie about her past. This contrasts with ‘The Ostler’ because we are not told anything about Rebecca’s past. However Curley’s wife tells how she could have been famous.
She had never told anyone what she told Lennie. Maybe she felt because Lennie was mentally disadvantaged she felt as if she could be herself because he didn’t intimidate her my acting superior to her like all the other men do. For the first time in the story she is not presented by the writer as flirtatious but kind and just in need of someone to talk to. We begin, as a reader, to feel sympathy towards her and begin to like her. This is done purposefully because john Stienbeck wants us to feel upset when she dies. This is how she dies. Lennie begins to stroke her. He loves to touch soft things like velvet or fur.
But he grips the hair to tight and she panics and screams. Scared that George will hear and be angry, Lennie tries to silence her my covering her mouth. Not knowing his own strength he breaks her neck and kills her. So Lennie runs away. When Curley discovers his wife dead he goes out in search of Lennie to kill him. Fortunately George finds Lennie first and kills him painlessly to stop him suffering a painful execution from Curley. So once again the female character has something to do with a death. However there are a further two things which contrast to Rebecca.
First of all we never find out her name. This may be to make us feel like we don’t know her until when she reveals her past. This again gives her an air of mystery. Why is every one so suspicious of her? Why is she always flirting with men? Secondly she doesn’t have the dominant role in her marriage. She lives in fear of Curley. The two writers, Wilkie Collins and John Steinbeck, both had different aims in their stories. Wilkie Collins aimed to entertain by telling a horror story so any information we are told about life in Victorian times was not on purpose but just for setting and context.
However, John Steinbeck was aiming to tell us about life in that time. Although the women weren’t the main character they both played important roles in influencing the plot. So we can see that both women were used to illustrate the different types of relationships between women and men, how they were treated and want they longed for in life – love. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.