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Slim Of Mice And Men Essay

860 words - 4 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

This means that we are likely to support George’s decision later on in the novel when he decides to kill Lennie. George has to balance the pain of being the one to shoot his closest friend with the regret of ‘[letting] em hurt Lennie’. George can look to Slim’s example and come around to supporting double effect and accepting that Lennie’s death was inevitable. In a way, Slim’s judgements foreshadow the end of the novel, as we always anticipate that Lennie will get into trouble and the only way to end the cycle of moving ranch to ranch would be to kill him. However, even after the murder, Slim is unchanged – he still supports George and understands him, reassuring him and saying ‘never you mind, a guy got to sometimes’. Slim is defying the characteristic 1930s breakdown of trusts and friendships – it was a time where understandings were jeopardised and distances were created, but Slim reveals a true understanding of the complexities of George’s decision.

Slim gives hope to the readers of the novel in many ways. It is set is bleak times where discrimination was widespread – whilst Crooks is racially segregated against, Curley’s wide is a victim of sexism. However, he is the only character who looks past these things and treats everybody equally. Whereas for most people, if Crooks says something ‘why it’s just a ****** saying it’, Slim comes into his room, which shows he is a man ready to form...

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