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What general observation does Slim make about human decency in Of Mice and Men?

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lvhuang | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 25, 2007 at 8:27 AM via web

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What general observation does Slim make about human decency in Of Mice and Men?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 25, 2007 at 10:02 AM (Answer #1)

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Set in the 1930's Depression era, this novel expresses through Slim the struggle of people for simple human decency in the face of so much meanness and ignorance in the world. Slim admires George's friendship with Lennie because no one ever "seems to give a damn about nobody". Slim confirms the cruelty of the world they live in when Carlson wants to kill Candy's sick, old dog, expressing the belief that the weak of the world have very little hope of protection from those who would take advantage of them. This belief is also shown when Slim drowns four of the puppies his dog has because their mother couldn't have fed all of them.

Overall, people who are powerless or handicapped in one way or another are considered to be undeserving of protection or preservation in society. This underscores the "survival of the fittest" theory where only the strongest people in a society will survive. During the Depression, resources were limited, and the powerful felt it was irresponsible to "waste" resources on those who were weak or handicapped.

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brendawm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted July 25, 2007 at 10:23 PM (Answer #2)

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Slim, perhaps the most respected man in the novel Of Mice and Men, provides a lot of comfort and understanding in terms of George and Lennie’s friendship because in a world where nobody really cares about anyone else, it’s good to see George taking care of someone with Lennie’s special needs.  As to the general observation he makes aside from the fact that no one ever  “seems to give a damn about nobody,” he also believes that the weak and powerless people have little hope of protection in a cruel and uncaring world. Check out the link below for mor information.  Brenda

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