Neoclassical economic thought along with traditional social mindsets existing during the early twentieth century maintained a heteronormative familial structure that was formatted around the idea of a male breadwinner and a female housewife. The onset of the Great Depression market collapse challenged such ideals as men lost their upper hand within the system when their jobs were taken away. The difference between their work and that of their wives was the monetary aspect: market labor earned a wage, household labor did not. Such a separation gave men a valuable place within society leaving women as mere shadows cast within the confines of the home. The economic turmoil may have disrupted the business cycle, but traditional society strived to maintain the gender roles created by neoclassical thought. Tillie Olsen's Yonnondio, John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Meridel Le Sueur's The Girl are all depression novels depicting a different type of female struggle as the heteronormative familial structure is deconstructed during this era.
Towner, Brooke Danielle, "Yonnondio, Of Mice and Men & The Girl: a Feminist Critique of the Traditional Social and Neoclassical Economic Roles of Women During the Great Depression" (2012). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 770.
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2012 Brooke Danielle Towner