Reflections on Visual Representation: Of Mice and Men

As a female, I was annoyed the way the novel made women out actively by using words like tramp’, ‘pitch’ and tart’ and the way men in the novel used them as prostitutes, so my representation shows the freedom and confinement of Curly wife – Eve given her power in my representation because her and the other women had none In the novel and Eve made the men all fairly insignificant In my representation because It wasn’t fair that they had all the power In the book.

I felt Like Curlers wife was Like a caged bird In the novel because she desperately wanted to escape from her life, but just couldn’t. This is why I used a birdcage as the cost dominant thing in my representation. It is sparkles because I wanted it to look luring because Curlers wife was lured into marrying Curler because she thought that marriage would give her freedom. The bride’s veil hanging on the outside of the birdcage emphasizes that her hopes and dreams were out of reach and that marriage was central to her being trapped.

Black chains are also wrapped around the sparkles cage, which makes her even more confined than Just being in the cage. A mans clothing and top hat sits over the veil, chains and the cage door, which shows hat men, and especially rich men like Curly and his father are the most powerful, have the most freedom In the novel, and are the ones who trap and confine other less powerful people. Bird’s feathers in the cage are a metaphor for Curler’s wife who is like a confined bird, and the fact that they are popping out the side of the cage shows that she is desperately trying to escape.

Just like a bird is free to fly where ever it likes, her dreams were free once, but now they are caged. Curlers wife, the prostitutes and the girl in the red dress are all nameless in the novel Just like the bird in the cage – we now it is a bird because we can see its feathers, but we can’t actually see what type of bird it is. Even so, the feathers are black which has two symbolic meanings, firstly black symbolizes her misery and death, and the way the feathers are scattered everywhere reminds me of the description of the frenzy before her murder and of her dead limp body.

Black Is also the color associated with evil and the author constructs her as a sank/flirt who Is trying to corrupt men. Eve Included one tiny single feather with beautiful red spots on it, which shows the way the men treat her potty feather is also like Curly wife’s hair – it is soft which tempts Ellen to touch it which eventually leads to him murdering her. Also, the red spotted feather is like her dreams that are mostly hidden now that she is confined in her marriage cage.

Red is associated with prostitutes and was also the color of Curlers wife’s shoes and the red dress the girl was wearing who accused Ellen of rape, so in my representation, I have made it a feminine color. The red spotted feather also shows Curlers wife’s vibrant personality that we understand more when she explains how she could have en a movie star. The quote ‘An a guy tool me he could put me in pitchers… On sparkly paper backs this up and is shown in bold lettering to show how forcefully she said the words, but Eve cut them in half on the poster to make the words hard to understand Just like in the novel when she spoke them to Ellen, he couldn’t really understand her which again emphasizes how trapped and alone she was. This idea is shown again in another quote ‘Satisfy night. Everybody out doing’ osmosis. Everybody! An’ what am I don? Standing’ here talking’ to a bunch of bindle stiffs’ which emphasizes that the men are all out and have friends, but she is not allowed to have either.

The black font is damaged Just like she admits that she is damaged through this rhetorical question. Even so, Ellen and Crook are also excluded and confined and they are shown on my representation as stick figures/’bindle stiffs’ connected to this quote who I positioned at the outside of my picture, Just like they are at the outside of society. They have weird square heads and uneven bodies to show that they are different to the other powerful men represented by the suit and top hat on he cage in the middle of the representation, and the men in the newspaper article in the background.

Colorful, red, shiny swirls are radiating from the cage and heading upwards which is like the singing/chirping bird because Curly wife was always trying to be happy and talk to the men because she was trapped and lonely. These red swirls floating upward also represent the freedom of dreams. But people can’t understand birds just like the men couldn’t understand Curlers wife’s loneliness which is also shown by a clump of red letters that are Jumbled up in a small pile hardly noticeable on the eight hand side of the cage.

The Jumbled letters are separate from the men’s words, which are shown as colorful ‘happy words, all Joined together because they are all free to socialize with each other. Even so, the men’s words face inwards in a circle which shows their social circle and represents the way they keep her out and trapped in her cage. Curlers wife is excluded from the friendships and confined to her unhappy life on the ranch because she is female, and because she is the boss’s wife. By Paris Whittaker Year 11

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