Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

“Nobody can't blame a person for lookin'”: A critical analysis of gender and violence in Steinbeck's “Of Mice and Men”
by Walkuski, Alecia, M.A., Southern Connecticut State University, 2012, 68; 1521708
Abstract (Summary)

Judith Butler's article "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution" was used to analyze the role of gender performance and violence in the novel Of Mice and Men. Characters within the novel were analyzed according to physical appearance, independence, speech, sexuality, and interactions with others in order to determine which characters could perform their gender roles correctly according to the societal expectations of the ranch. The flaws in the characters' gender performance directly compared to the level of violence they were exposed to or engaged in within the novel. Episodes of violence ranged from verbal to physical violence and were directly proportional to the degree of incorrect gender performance exhibited by the characters involved. Applying Butler's concept of gender performance to Of Mice and Men demonstrates the role that gender plays in the construction of literature; and, in the case of Of Mice and Men, it suggests that Steinbeck was critiquing the disastrous system of gender performances.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Petrie, Paul R.
Commitee: Petrie, Paul R.
School: Southern Connecticut State University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American literature
Keywords: Steinbeck, John
Publication Number: 1521708
ISBN: 978-1-267-79727-8
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