Slim and George in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men


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In the novel Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbek, there are several characters that make the book as interesting as it is.  For example, Slim and George are two characters who are alike in some ways, yet are different in many others.  They both want to be leaders, but only one of them can.  George and Slim have many characteristics, but there are reasons why Slim is considered a leader by his co-workers and George is not.

 

George is an ordinary man, unlike Lennie who is mentally retarded.  He promotes moral responsibility unlike Lennie or Curley’s wife. His need for companionship exceeds the generally accepted traditional remedies for loneliness.  He has some major physical characteristics that are noted by many people, which are restless eyes, strong small hands, thin arms, and a bony nose.

 

Slim is the moral judge of the bunkhouse.  He is a skilled workman.  With being the skilled workman that he is, he can gain acceptance by not claiming anything, but by just being himself.  That causes him to be a figure of integrity for many people.  Furthermore, Slim can be very concerned and helpful.  For example, Slim immediately thinks of getting a doctor for Curley, when Lennie crushes his hand.

 

There are many reasons why George is not a leader.  For example, he is always thinking about the future.  For example, he constantly asks himself questions such as, where will they work next?  Will he ever get his dream?  How can he protect Lennie from doing bad things?  Another reason for George not being a leader is because he works fairly well, but he does not stand out. That does not provide himself with any pride or satisfaction, therefore he has to look somewhere else for those qualities. 

 

There are many reasons why Slim is a leader.  For example, Slim is the only had who appears to have a self-confident direction.  Another reason is because he has a reputation for craftsmanship.  That provides him with a source of pride and satisfaction.  When Slim receives the pride and satisfaction, he does not throw superiority in his partner’s faces.  That is why Slim is respected and viewed as a leader by his partners.

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George and Slim are both good people in the eyes of their co-workers.  There is little difference between the two people, but that little difference can make a big difference when it comes down to choosing their leader. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George and Lenny

Camille Hodges

March 13, 1999


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