Social Hierarchy is the way people in a society separate people within that society into different social groups based off gender, race, or even sexual orientation. Ever since the start of society, people have always followed a social hierarchy. John Steinbeck recreates the social system from the Great Depression in his novel to tell us about the way people of color and how females were treated in a society to show that the system was unfair. John Steinbeck makes all of the characters from his novel, Of Mice and Men, fall into a pyramid of social hierarchy.
The characters at the bottom of this pyramid such as Lennie, are discriminated against for their disabilities, gender, race, etc. Lennie is John Steinbeck’s first example of the people at the bottom of the pyramid in his novel. Lennie is pinned to the bottom of the pyramid because he is mentally disabled. Lennie is stuck at the lowest portion of the pyramid because he is stuck with his disability.
Next, Crooks is another character who is stuck with Lennie at the lowest part of the social hierarchy pyramid in the novel, Of Mice and Men because of discrimination. “… S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse and play rummy because you was black. How’d you like that?” (Page: 80). This quote shows how Crooks was discriminated against and how his race causes him to be a ‘minority’ at the workplace. Another character who is stuck along with Crooks and Lennie at the bottom is Curley’s wife Curley’s wife is at the bottom because she is female and this novel takes place during the Great Depression. Females were not allowed many rights back then so she was a minority at the ranch. All the characters at the bottom of the social hierarchy pyramid are stuck at the bottom because they are at the bottom for things they can’t control.