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Character Analysis

Slim is the "prince of the ranch." He's the consummate Western man: masterful, strong, fair-minded, practical, non-talkative, and exceptionally good at what he does. He is a god among men, and his word on any subject is law. Do you want it in Steinbeck's own words?

…he moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsman. He was a jerkline skinner, the prince of the ranch, capable of driving ten, sixteen, even twenty mules with a single line to the leaders. He was capable of killing a fly on the wheeler's **** with a bull whip without touching the mule. There was a gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when he spoke, His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love. This was Slim, the jerkline skinner. (2.170)

Simmer down, Steinbeck. We're pretty sure the feeling isn't mutual.

Naughty or Nice?

Slim's "authority" means that he gets to decide who deserves justice, and…


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