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In The Rest Of The Novel, How Does Steinbeck Show That Some People On The Ranch Are Considered More Important Than Others? How Does This Reflect T

929 words - 4 pages

Steinbeck uses hierarchy in the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ to show that all the characters in the novella hold different statuses. Steinbeck then shows in the novella how this links with the 1930s depression and how in his novella he conformed and also challenged stereotypes.

Firstly, in the rest of the novel, Steinbeck shows the hierarchy and importance of certain characters within the ranch by the ranch workers. Steinbeck shows that although ranch workers were generally to have low statuses, Slim seems to be in charge of the ranch workers and have a similar status to that of Curley. This is evident through the speech Steinbeck gives Slim to say. The authority that Slim has is clearly seen in ...view middle of the document...

’ The name ‘Curley’s wife’ shows possession as if she is a belonging and possession of Curley. In 1930s America, women were seen to be housewives and have lower statuses than that of men. In America during the great depression women did face lots of sex discrimination. By this they were labelled to do certain jobs. Curley’s wife is therefore challenging stereotypes when she is around the ranch as she is meant to be staying in the ranch house. The only person who has less power than that of Curley’s wife is Crooks. In chapter four when she threatens him and says how, "I (Curley’s wife) could get you strung up on a tree so easy it aint even funny." This shows how although she has a low status a man who is black has an even lower status than her. The word ‘strung’ shows the lynching and how Black Americans were the targets of the Ku Klux Klan. It also makes Crooks seem as an animal as animals are hung from trees.

Another way in which Steinbeck also presents the lack of importance in certain groups within society is through black people. Steinbeck shows that black people assumed the lowest of the lowest position in the hierarchy of the 1930s American society. This is evident through the character and the treatment of Crooks. The description of Crooks’ living conditions contrast with the living conditions of the other ranch workers isolating him from the rest of the characters. ‘Crooks the negro stable book had his bunk in the harness room.’ The possessive pronoun ‘his’ emphasis the segregation of...

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