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How does steinbeck's description of slim suggest that he carries authority amongst the...

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vanzcooper | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 5, 2011 at 5:40 AM via web

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How does steinbeck's description of slim suggest that he carries authority amongst the men? what do you think about the language which steinbeck uses to describe him?

Of mice and men

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 5, 2011 at 7:18 AM (Answer #2)

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One of the most salient descriptors that Steinbeck uses to describe Slim can be found when he first enters the story and is described as "the prince of the farm." Those are highly contrasting words, when compared to the atmosphere of dirt, heat, poverty, and desolation that Steinbeck effectively creates as a background for the story.

Steinbeck makes Slim stick out from the rest of the farm hands by awarding him the ability to adapt, and excel. He is the most dedicated of all farm hands, presumably the most precise and hard-working, and he displays a positive attitude even towards the end when he has to console George for killing Lennie.

Slim also dedicated his time effectively to the other farmhands. He had a versatility of conversation, a capacity to listen to others, and "god-like eyes" that seemed to enthrall those who spoke to him. What Slim really had was a lot of charisma: It is not that he spoke better than anyone, or knew more (although it is said in his description that his ears had heard more than the average ear). It is the fact that his charisma made others listen to him, and come to him as they would come to a leader.

The charms and eloquence of Slim are a welcome and refreshing change of pace to the otherwise dull and heavy daily life of the farm. He is the folio of just about every character, and he represents the hope and faith that everyone else seems to lack.

 

 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 27, 2011 at 1:49 AM (Answer #3)

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I think you are talking about Slim.  Among migrant workers, the owner or manager had supreme authority.  He was harsh and even cruel to the men.  He did not associate with them, laugh or joke with them, or live near them.  He is more educated than the workers, and sometimes talks above their heads.

 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 27, 2011 at 5:13 PM (Answer #4)

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Slim is not the owner or manager of the barley ranch at which George and Lennie work. In John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Slim is the mule skinner, capable of driving twenty mules with a single rein.  He is described as having a quality of majesty

only achieved by royalty and master craftsmen. He was a jerkline skinner, the prince of the ranch....His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love....His ear heard more than was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought.

Clearly Slim is a superior being, with his "god-like eyes" and his sublime qualities.  And, yet, he is able to communicate with the men, understanding their conflicts and desires.  For, it is Slim who consoles George after his shooting of Lennie, "You hadda, George."

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