Slim of Mice and Men

In: English and Literature

Submitted By coramanchester
Words 829
Pages 4
How is the character of Slim important to the novel as a whole?

Slim is significant to providing a contrast to the depression and discrimination of the other characters on the ranch. His consistency makes him a tool of comparison and gives him a unique judge-like authority.

Slim is important to contextualise other characters on the ranch. Because Slim is describes with such zealous descriptions such as ‘God-like eyes’ he is quickly established as a character with an excellent moral conduct. In contrast, Curley is described as ‘alla time picking scraps with big guys’. With Slim, we can constantly compare characters with him, to intensify their weaknesses. For example, Slim has an ‘authority so great that his word was taken on any subject’, whilst Curley ‘wore high-heeled boots’ to superficially show power. This comparison highlights Curley’s inner insecurity as we see he has to dress for respect whilst this comes to Slim naturally. Slim is also a character assessor on the ranch – his judgement on Lennie is that ‘he’s not mean’. All the time leading up to this, we as readers have probably already arrived to this opinion, but by an authoritive figure like Slim repeating it we can be sure of the innocence of Lennie’s actions.

Furthermore, Slim’s power on the ranch makes him a voice of justice throughout the novel. Because justice is so subjective, Slim’s views provide an objective way of evaluating George’s latter decisions in the novel. We are initially surprised when we learn that Slim ‘drowned four of [the puppies] right off’, as it would be seen as a form of murder. However, his initial God-like descriptions deter us from seeing the wrong in his actions – but we consider that if he had not done this, the other puppies would have all starved. Through Slim justifying the doctrine of double effect, we realise how practicalities can take precedence over ideals.…...

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