In "Of Mice and Men", how was slim like a judge? How did this pass verdict on the dog?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 3, Carlson insists on shooting Candy's old dog by complaining about its awful smell and old age. Carlson then mentions that Slim would probably allow Candy to choose a new puppy from Slim's litter. Slim then acts as a judge by telling Candy,

"Look, Candy. This ol' dog jus' suffers hisself all the time. If you was to take him out and shoot him right in the back of the head . . . right there, why he'd never know what hit him." (Steinbeck, 22)

After Candy refuses to shoot his dog, Slim mentions that it would be in the dog's best interest because it is clearly suffering in its old age. When Candy attempts to stall Carlson by saying that he can shoot the dog the next day, Carlson argues that it does not make any difference. Slim once again passes the verdict on Candy's dog by remaining silent, which indicates that he favors Carlson's decision. Candy and the other men on the farm respect Slim's judgment and view him as the wisest man on the farm. Slim is also a man with integrity and the other workers trust that he will make the right decision regarding any matter. Slim's revered character impacts Candy's decision to allow Carlson to shoot his old dog.

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Slim is called "the prince of the ranch". Because of his personality and good judgment, the men respect him. They probably contrast Slim's easy going acceptance of people in contrast to Curley, the bosses son, who is always up tight and looking for a fight. Slim also stands up to Curley, which the men respect. Since he is probably the most respected man on the ranch, his decisions are final. When Candy turns to Slim for help in saving his old dog, Slim simply says that Candy can have the pick of the litter from his dog. By offering Candy a new puppy, Slim is saying it's time to get rid of the old dog. His verdict is the final one, and Candy then allows Carlson to take out his dog and "out it out of its misery."