Social Hierarchies In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

1133 Words 5 Pages
Social hierarchies have existed just as long as people have. They will continue to exist until an apocalypse, a rapture, or anything in between proceeds to destroy the earth as it is known. It is a pity that those at the bottom of the pyramid tend to not have control over their situations but rather are at the bottom of the social hierarchy due to unfair prejudiced attitudes. During the Depression Era, the setting of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, people were shown severe discrimination by others unless they were white male Americans with full working and social capabilities. Through the characters Lennie, Candy, Curley’s Wife, and Crooks, the author shows how the cognitively impaired, elderly, women, and African Americans were treated. Still today, society struggles with treating every person equally. In his novel Of Mice and Men Steinbeck demonstrates a skillful use of imagery, foreshadowing, and archetype to help readers understand how society systematically treats certain groups of people. Ironically, Lennie Small is a large and strong man. Simply looking at him would show no disability since his hardship is an inner one; Lennie has a mental disability. On multiple occasions he is compared to an animal. Steinbeck wrote, …show more content…
He is the stable buck on the farm and lives in the barn. The author juxtaposes where Crooks lives against where the others live. Everyone else lives in the bunkhouse with friends while Crooks has nobody. For every other character, Steinbeck gives us a brief description averaging about a paragraph long. Crooks, however, has pages of explanation about where he lives, how he lives, and who he is as a person. This imagery and juxtaposition perfectly humanizes the African Americans. Steinbeck also uses foreshadowing to convey how terribly this group of people was treated. Curley’s Wife says to

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