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What is the importance of Slim in "Of Mice and Men"?

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Introduction

The importance of Slim in Of Mice and Men Slim is a very significant character in Of Mice and Men. He is used by Steinbeck to portray the key themes of the 1930s in the novella. Throughout the novella Slim is seen as one of the more authoritative and friendly characters. His relationship with George and his kindness to Lennie clearly defines his character. He is seen as a masculine figure with high amounts of authority over the other worker on the ranch. This is seen at the start of the novella where slim is introduced. Steinbeck says: ?There was a gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when he spoke. His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love. ? This expresses that Slim is a character with significant amounts of power. Steinbeck uses the word gravity to highlight the huge amounts of power Slim has. It also elucidates at how he has a quiet dignity; he doesn?t need to state himself to show authority unlike Curley who was introduced before as an aggressive ?pugnacious? man. ...read more.

Middle

Slim has all the qualities to be masculine and powerful. Slim has hands that are ?large and lean? and they ?were as delicate in their action as those of a temple dancer.? His large hands resemble his overall presence of a large and powerful character; however, the way his hands were described ?as those of a temple dancer? elucidates to the way he still has grace and skill. Steinbeck uses hands as a symbol ? Lennie?s huge hands, Curley?s wife sausage fingers and candy?s missing hand. The hands are used as a motif to symbolise how much power they behold. Slim is also seen as a very likeable character. Candy says he is ?hell of a nice fella? and is described as being ?the prince of the ranch.? These two opinions would only be obtainable if people like him on the ranch. His kindness and authoritative figure helps the reader to compare him to Curley who is disliked. In some aspects, Slim is used by Steinbeck as a way of letting the reader compare him to Curley to emphasise Curley?s flaws. His likeness is also caused by his kindness. ...read more.

Conclusion

Slim is very good at sensing emotions unlike the other ranch workers. Steinbeck is showing how Slim is more considerate than the other migrant workers. In 1930s America and during the Great Depression people were very unkind. However, Slim is very friendly. Steinbeck also use Slim to show how during the Great Depression when life was hard, even Slim (a moral man) feels it is necessary to kill the dog. Slim also shows qualities like the other ranch workers. When he first talks to George and finds out that he and Lennie travel together he says ?Ain?t many guys travel around together.? Even a man like Slim finds it strange that Lennie and George travel together. It is unusual because during the 1930s in America most men left their families to search for work as it was easier to find a job. Steinbeck is reinforcing how strange Lennie and George?s situation is as during the Great Depression life was very lonely for migrant workers. In conclusion, Slim is used by Steinbeck to express many key themes of the book and its setting. He is used to show how authority was assigned to differently in 1930s America. As the most authoritative character his qualities are important to the novella. ...read more.

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