In some people’s minds there was a default binary divide in the world through out most of human history, between “the oppressors” those who own everything, run everything and generally exploit the work of the second group “the oppressed” who own very little and either work directly or in directly for the “the oppressors” who pay them very little and just generally seek to limit their freedom and ability to prosper for their own ends. In it’s supposed pure form movement between the two groups is generally impossible and progress means moving away from this system.
As a result of this world view many fictitious fantasy worlds that are suppose to be more primitive then ours are often divided up exactly in this way without any evidence of a middle class or the people in-between the classes that existed in the real world
See Also: Fantastic Caste System
- In Game of Thrones every character is either a titled noblemen or a low born commoner
- Once Upon a Time is taken from the traditional fairy tales and everyone is either royalty, like Snow White, or a poor villager or woods person.
- In Time: In a World where time is money, the world is divided into zones of rich and poor that can only be crossed by giving up years of your life. The poor can't afford to cross into the rich zones, and the rich have no reason to leave.