Here is the answer and explanation to the question What position does Carlson have in the hierarchy in Of Mice and Men?
What position does Carlson have in the hierarchy in Of Mice and Men?
Carlson is above Slim, George and Lennie in the hierarchy. He is just below Curley, and above Candy and Crooks.
This is a very good question. There is obviously a definite hierarchy on the ranch. The Boss would be at the top because he has the power to hire and fire, and he controls the purse strings. Curley would probably be next because he is the Boss’s son and acts…
This is a very good question. There is obviously a definite hierarchy on the ranch. The Boss would be at the top because he has the power to hire and fire, and he controls the purse strings. Curley would probably be next because he is the Boss’s son and acts as a sort of straw boss. Slim would rank next. Steinbeck stresses the fact that all the men respect Slim because of his personality and his status as a skilled worker. When they are all working in the fields, it is Slim who tells everybody else what to do. When Curley’s hand gets crushed in the fight with Lennie, it is Slim who immediately takes charge. Carlson would probably rank just below Slim in the hierarchy, although he is only a relatively minor character. He would rank high because of his age and his “gravitas.” He owns a Luger, which suggests that he served in World War I and brought the German handgun back as a souvenir. He is the one who suggests killing Candy’s dog and then gets everybody to support his suggestion. He doesn’t talk much, but he walks when he wants to talk, and everybody listens. He is the one who takes the old dog out and shoots it. Nobody objects, and Slim’s approval makes the dog’s demise inevitable.
Several of the major characters obviously have low status in the hierarchy. Crooks is the lowest because of his race as well as because of his crippled body. He can’t do the same work as the others, and he probably gets paid considerably less than the others. He can’t even play cards with the white men in the bunkhouse. The next in rank above Crooks would be Lennie because of his weak mind. Lennie, however, has some status because he can do more work in the fields than any of the others. Candy plays an important role in the story, but he has low status because of his missing hand, his age, and his inferior job. They gave him $300 compensation for losing his hand, but at the same time they are probably paying him a lower wage. He would rank just above Crooks, and he seems to know it. Above Crooks, Lennie and Candy would be George, who would rank low temporarily because he is a new guy. He would rise in the hierarchy if he stayed. He is obviously smart, articulate, assertive, opinionated, experienced, and a lot of other things. He seems to be well-liked already. Slim likes him, and that automatically gives George hierarchical status. Curley’s wife would not be ranked at all in the hierarchy because she is a female and an complete outsider. There are some other men in the work force, but the author uses them only to fill up space, so to speak. He has to show there are more men employed on this big ranch, but he focuses on those already mentioned here.
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