Trace the development of the relationship between George and Slim from the beginning of Of Mice and Men to its end.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Steinbeck possesses a great deal of respect for Slim.  The manner in which Slim is described represents Steinbeck's affinity for Slim as a man of action.  This is something that we see in George's understanding of Slim.  From the opening of Chapter 3, George views Slim as a person in the position of authority and with a sense of reverence.  The fact that Steinbeck uses the term "confessional" helps to bring this out in their relationship.  George defers to Slim in a manner of respect and reverence, almost to the point where George understands that "the buck stops" with Slim.  He demonstrates an unusual trust in Slim, confiding to him why they left their last job in Weed.  When Slim discovers Curley's dead wife's body, George defers to him.  In the end, when George has to kill Lennie, Slim displays compassion in comforting George.  While George is despondent and beyond the reach of all others, he is receptive to Slim's taking him by the elbow and walking off with him.  It is as if the relationship between both of them is akin to a priest and a penitent.

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