Of Mice and Male: Hierarchy Within the Ranch
Hierarchy within the cattle ranch Sweet: Candy is the first character from the cattle ranch that is presented within the book. As a swamper, his function is to clean up in the cattle ranch, for that reason meaning he is not of much significance. Steinbeck uses a short description of Sweet, exposing to us that he is old and has actually lost one hand. Aside from that, Steinbeck does not go into terrific information relating to Candy as he makes with the other characters, which does not give much away. This might simply indicate that Sweet is simply another worker in the ranch and is not of a high position within the hierarchy.
However, the way in which he retells stories of what happened in the cattle ranch to George and Lennie provides the impression that Sweet has been in the cattle ranch for a long time and understands of what goes on. E. g. ‘know what he done Christmas? Brang a gallon of whisky right in here’. Manager: As the one in charge, he is obviously at the top of the ranch hierarchy. His clothing further emphasises his high position e. g. ‘he used high heeled boots and spurs’. The concerned method which Candy behaved around the one in charge also indicates his high position. E. g. ‘shuffled to the door rubbing his whiskers with his knuckles as he went’.
Sweet was wary of the boss and was effectively ‘walking on eggshells’ when around in charge. Curley: One of the very first things we are told about Curley is that, like in charge, he used high heeled boots which, in this book, seems to symbolise a particular degree of wealth and a high status. He plainly has an aggressive streak (e. g. ‘His glimpse was at once calculating and pugnacious’) and acts in an extremely hostile manner towards George and Lennie. E. g. ‘His arms gradually bent at the elbows and his hands closed into fists’. Being in charge’ kid he, inevitably, is of a high position in the cattle ranch.
Not greater than the one in charge, however still high. Curley’s better half: Upon going into, Curley’s partner cut off the rays of sunlight into the bunk. This practically right away signals that she is going to be problem. She used mostly red (a scarlet lady) and her makeup was greatly done. E. g. ‘she had full, rouged lips and broad spaced eyes, heavily made up’. As the one in charge’ daughter in law, she too has a high position within the ranch, however the employees do not appear to receive her well. George quickly takes a doing not like to her (e. g. ‘Jesus, what a tramp’), and all of the others are wary of socialising with her.
Socially, she is rather low down in the hierarchy, but when it comes to influential power, she is rather high. Slim: Quickly, one can see that Slim is of high value within the cattle ranch. Steinbeck gives him magnificent qualities, instantly leaving the impression Slim is appreciated and well developed in the cattle ranch. E. g. ‘He moved with a majesty just achieved by royalty and master artisans’ and ‘the prince of the ranch’. The words ‘prince of the ranch’ says it all. He is not quite head (king) of the cattle ranch, however he is of very high significance. He is not higher than in charge, but is rather potentially second in command.