Of Mice and Men

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A skilled mule driver with an ageless face, a grave manner, and a calm authority on how to run a ranch, Slim is a revered figure on the ranch. As the most self-assured of the men, he is the only one who never takes a swipe at anyone else in order to make himself feel stronger or better. At the same time, he is also the only one of the ranch hands who truly understands and appreciates the power and purity of the friendship between George and Lennie.

Slim Quotes in Of Mice and Men

The Of Mice and Men quotes below are all either spoken by Slim or refer to Slim. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Broken Plans Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Books edition of Of Mice and Men published in 1993.
Part 2 Quotes
"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."
Related Characters: Slim (speaker), George Milton, Lennie Small
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

On the ranch, George and Lennie are introduced to Slim, a skinner whom everybody respects. In this quote, Slim, like many of the other ranchers, expresses his surprise that two men like Lennie and George travel around together. Ranchers in that region tended to be nomadic workers, moving from ranch to ranch whenever and wherever they could find work. It was seen as lonely, individual work, and men rarely traveled together. Therefore, a pair like Lennie and George was seldom seen at these ranches. Slim, as an experienced rancher, has seen many men come and go, and in this quote, he observes that these men are usually alone--perhaps, he reasons, "the whole damn world is scared of each other." The lonely life of a rancher perpetuates feelings of animosity against other ranchers who could be potential competition for jobs and can often inspire meanness, creating a circle of loneliness. What George and Lennie have, particularly in their line of work, is a rarity. 

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Part 3 Quotes
"Carl's right, Candy. That dog ain't no good to himself. I wisht somebody'd shoot me if I got old an' a cripple."
Related Characters: Slim (speaker), Candy, Carlson
Related Symbols: Candy's Dog
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

Candy,  an old swamper on the ranch who lost his hand to a machine, has an old dog whom he adores. However, the other men whom he bunks with complain that it is useless and smelly. When Slim's dog gives birth to a littler of puppies, Carlson proposes that he put Candy's dog out of its misery and replace it with a puppy. In this quote, Slim agrees. He attempts to sympathize with the dog by saying that if he were "old an' a cripple," he would want someone to shoot him, but unfortunately, this statement seems to bear more resemblance to Candy's situation: he is no longer an efficient worker due to his age and disability, but he has kept his job out of pity from the boss. The fact that all the workers get together to convince Candy that he should let his dog go makes Candy nervous that he, too, will one day be ousted--or worse--for a younger worker. 

Part 6 Quotes
"Never you mind," said Slim. "A guy got to sometimes."
Related Characters: Slim (speaker), George Milton
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:

With Curley's armed and murderous party approaching, George asks Lennie to look out at the water as he describes, for one last time, the dream of their shared farm. Before the party can find them in the brush, George shoots Lennie in the back of his head, killing him before the other men have a chance to. In this quote, Slim finds George and Lennie and realizes what has happened. He attempts to console George by telling him he had no choice--had the men found Lennie first, there was no telling what they might do to him, but it was certain to end in death. Similar to the way Candy wishes he shot his dog instead of Carlson, George wanted to be the one who killed Lennie because he knew he was the only person who could do it in the most merciful way possible, even though it was an act that surely would haunt him for the rest of his life. 

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Slim Character Timeline in Of Mice and Men

The timeline below shows where the character Slim appears in Of Mice and Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Slim tells her that Curley is back at the main house. When she's gone, Lennie calls... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Slim is a leader and authority among the other ranch hands. After talking to George and... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Carlson, another ranch hand, introduces himself to George and Lennie, then asks Slim about his dog. Slim says she gave birth to nine puppies, but that he had... (full context)
Part 3
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Slim agrees to give Lennie a puppy. When George thanks him, Slim says Lennie is the... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
George also tells Slim what happened in Weed. Lennie touched a woman's dress. She objected. He panicked and wouldn't... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...bunkhouse, followed by Carlson. Carlson again suggests they put the dog out of its misery. Slim agrees and offers Candy one of his puppies. (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Crooks, the black stable manager enters with news for Slim. Slim leaves with Crooks, and the men discuss Curley's wife. They agree with George that... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
...the bunkhouse. Curley enters soon after, again looking for his wife. He suspects she's with Slim in the barn and storms out. The other men follow, hoping for a fight. (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Slim, Curley, Carlson, and Whit enter. Curley apologizes to Slim for suspecting him, and all the... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Curley wants to fire George and Lennie, but Slim tells him if he does no one on the ranch will respect him. Curley gives... (full context)
Part 5
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Slim, Whit, Carlson, Curley, Crooks, and George enter the barn. Curley demands that Lennie be killed.... (full context)
Part 6
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...Lennie had his gun and that he shot him after wrestling it away from him. Slim leads the distraught George away, repeating over and over that George had to do it.... (full context)