Loneliness of Women
The cultural assumption I am going to address is that women in the early 1900's were really lonely and were treated unfairly because of this. The author of the book, John Steinbeck, shows this assumption through the theme of loneliness.
An example of how women in this book were lonely is Curley's wife. This is shown by how Curley treats her as a possession, like he owns her, and tells her to stay at home and not to associate with any of the other men on the ranch this is surely a reason why she is so lonely.
The book reinforces the assumption by only creating one female character (Curley's Wife) and by giving her all the cultural assumptions that were expected of women at the time e.g. stay at home, cook dinner, clean the house etc.
Another example of how the book treats Curley's wife unequally is how they address her as Curley's wife and never give her a name in the book which shows how insignificant men at the time viewed women.
I completely disagree with the cultural assumption of women being forced to live lonely lives and be treated as a lesser person than a man. I disagree because women are intellectually no different to men and they should not have been treated like they were.
Through the theme of loneliness John Steinbeck shows just how lonely women were at the time.
John Steinbeck doesn't challenge the cultural assumption because everything he shows just reinforces the stereotypes women of the time had.