Slim

Slim is the most respected character on the ranch, despite not actually being in charge (although he is in charge of one of the grain teams). He is calm and thoughtful; all of the other men look up to him and value his opinions. Slim empathises with other characters, particularly George, whom he treats kindly after he shoots Lennie.

Respected

How is Slim like this?

Slim is looked up to by all of the other men on the ranch, who look to him for approval and ask for his opinion.

Evidence

Slim’s opinions were law.

Analysis

This simple statement reflects how Slim’s decisions are respected unquestioningly. This demonstrates the power that he has on the ranch, despite not being one of the bosses.

Authoritative

How is Slim like this?

Slim does not demand authority but is revered by the rest of the men on the ranch because of his natural influence.

Evidence

His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love.

Analysis

Again, Slim’s power is universal with the men because of their natural respect for him. Steinbeck presents Slim as being the calm holder of this innate authority, not demanding it or treating others badly to get it, which is why it is so strong.

Empathetic

How is Slim like this?

Slim is the only character who shows understanding of how George feels after he has killed Lennie.

Evidence

You hadda, George. I swear you hadda.

Analysis

Slim comforts George by repeating you hadda, emphasising to George that he did not have any choice but to kill Lennie. This shows Slim’s concern for his friend and that he understands the difficult decision that George has had to make and how this will affect him, whereas the other men on the ranch do not see that there was anything worrying about what George has had to do.