Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men Women and Femininity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph) Though Steinbeck did not originally include chapter numbers with the text, most editions are broken into six sections, based on day and time of day: Thursday evening = Chapter 1; Friday day = Chapter 2; Friday evening = Chapter 3; Saturday night = Chapter 4; Sunday afternoon = Chapter 5; Sunday evening = Chapter 6.
"God, you're a lot of trouble," said George. "I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn't have you on my tail. I could live so easy and maybe have a girl."
For a moment Lennie lay quiet, and then he said hopefully, "We gonna work on a ranch, George." (1.56-57)
Uh-huh. Somehow we doubt that a girl would be much inclined to wander from ranch to ranch while George looks for steady work.
"Seems like Curley is cockier'n ever since he got married."
George grunted. "Maybe he's showin' off for his wife." (2.97-98)
You'd think that Curley would be able to stop showing off now that he's married—but instead it seems worse than ever. Is there no such thing as "settling down" with a woman? Or is it just this woman?
"Well, that glove's fulla Vaseline."
"Vaseline? What the hell for?"
"Well, I will tell ya what—Curley says he's keepin' that hand soft for his wife." (2.99-101)
George and Candy snicker about Curley's vanity, but it raises an important question: what do women want? Well, if they're middle-class women in a technologically developed country like America, where the guys all work in offices with fifteen blue shirts and womanly hands, they want a man with rough, worker's hands. But if they're working-class women in the Great Depression surrounded by rough ranchhands (according to Steinbeck), they want their man to have baby-soft hands.