How does Slim react to George and Lennie's companionship in Of Mice and Men?

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Initially, the boss is suspicious when he learns that Lennie and George travel together. George tells the boss that he and Lennie are cousins and that Lennie was kicked in the head by a horse. The boss is still suspicious, wondering if George is taking Lennie's pay. He warns George not to try to get away with anything like this.

When Slim first asks if George and Lennie travel together, his tone is "friendly" and "inviting." George adds that Lennie is a great worker and Slim appreciates the sentiment. George tells Slim that they look after each other and Slim, unlike the boss, seems to understand and appreciate this: 

"Ain't many guys travel around together," he mused. "I don't know why. Maybe ever'body in the whole damn world is scared of each other."

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When Slim is introduced into the novel, Steinbeck immediately draws a very distinct contrast between him and the other characters. In addition to his extraordinary skills as a jerkline skinner (Steinbeck refers to Slim as "the prince of the ranch"), Slim possesses personal qualities that set him apart in a spiritual way: "His ear heard more than was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought." Having established Slim's nature, Steinbeck then introduces him to George and Lennie in Chapter 2.

Slim approves of George and Lennie immediately. Taking a seat across from George, Slim expresses the hope that he and Lennie will join his team on the ranch. When George gives Lennie a compliment, Slim approves, noticing George's smile. It is at this point that Slim asks, "You guys travel around together?" His tone is "friendly," one that "invited confidence without demanding it." George explains, "Sure . . . We kinda look after each other." Slim's reaction reveals his wisdom as he recognizes a profound truth of the human condition:

Ain't many guys travel around together . . . I don't know why. Maybe ever'body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.

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The odd couple, George and Lennie, travel everywhere together. As someone with serious learning disabilities, Lennie is incapable of looking after himself. And George promised Lennie's Aunt Clara that he'd always take care of him. So they go everywhere together, from one farm to another, from adventure to adventure.

Slim's an old hand, and he's seen pretty much everything in this business. So he knows just how unusual it is for itinerant farm hands to travel around together. As he points out, the life of a farm hand is a pretty lonely one; he never puts down any roots or establishes any lasting connections with anyone. Instead, he just moves from place to place by himself, works for about a month on a farm, and then quits and takes off his own.

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Slim and George have a long conversation. Slim says it's funny how George and Lennie go around together. What is George's answer?

George is initially insulted by the question, but then is provoked into a more secure feeling and he confesses his cruel joke. George needs forgiveness and to be heard. It truly IS unusual for guy to trust each other. George is defensive about this strangeness but then takes ownership of this relationship as it is bonded in his guilt about that moment. What Lennie takes as George's loyalty is truly George's guilt.

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Slim and George have a long conversation. Slim says it's funny how George and Lennie go around together. What is George's answer?

This observation gives George a chance to tell the truth about his relationship with Lennie. He tells Slim that he and Lennie were born in the same town. George knew Lennie’s Aunt Clara who had raised Lennie from infancy. When she died, George became his caregiver. He confesses that he played tricks on Lennie in the past but stopped when he realized Lennie’s loyalty was so strong that he would do anything George required. He also reveals what really happened in Weed, the site of their last job. This gives Slim an idea of Lennie's strength and paves the way for Slim's later understanding of George's actions at the end of the novel.

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When Slim suggests that it's funny to see two guys like George and Lennie travel together, what is George's response in Of Mice and Men?

George deflects the insinuation of the comment by explaining how he feels responsible for Lenny, because of Lenny's mental limitations.

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When Slim suggests that it's funny to see two guys like George and Lennie travel together, what is George's response in Of Mice and Men?

George explains that it isn't so funny because he feels a sense of responsibility for taking care of Lenny.  Lenny's Aunt Clara, an acquaintence of George, raised Lenny.  When she died, Lenny just started working with George all the time until they because so used to being together.  Now, George feels the parental responsibility for Lenny's safekeeping.

This is odd for the other men at the ranch because of the nature of the cut-throat job market at the time; however, the other men at the ranch haven't had the family-like relationship that Lenny and George have been a part of which is why they can't understand how difficult it is for George to leave Lenny.

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