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Of Mice and Men – Slim Character Analysis

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We as humans, take delight in trying to figure out what the people around us are like. We analyze what they do, what they say, what they’ve done and offer predictions as to what they will do. As we read a novel we do the same, even though a character isn’t living, we think and respond to them as if they were an acquaintance. Character analysis is taking a person’s actions, thoughts and feelings and critically assessing who they are. In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, we see Slim, although not a central character, of great importance to the story. Steinbeck portrays him as a thinker, “His ear heard more than was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought.” Throughout the novel, we see Slim as a great authority. When George and Lennie first see Slim he is described as, “…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…” On the ranch what Slim says is the final word. For example, when they are debating to kill Candy’s dog or not, Slim ends the conversation by simply stating, “Carl’s right, Candy.

That dog ain’t no good to himself. I wish somebody’d shoot me if I got old an’ a cripple.” On the ranch, Slim’s opinions are law and to think otherwise would be unorthodox. Although Slim has a lot of influence on what everyone thinks, he doesn’t let it get to his head and is always kind to everyone. When Lennie and George first come to the ranch, Slim is one of the first to give them a warm welcome. Because of his confidence, unlike Curly, Slim can remain caring and that is why people prefer him over Curly even though he is the boss’s son. Slim is not only caring but understanding as well. He understands the situation that George and Lennie are in, questions it at first but then accepts it. He has heard what happened in Weed and doesn’t treat Lennie any different. At the end of the story, Slim is able to put himself into George’s shoes and comprehends why George did what he did. He then assures George that killing Lennie was not only just but also the only alternative he could have picked at that time. When we read a novel, we tend to see the characters as more than just a few words; we see them as people. That is why we continually analyze all of their actions, thoughts and feelings.

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