How does Steinbeck present Slim and Candy as opposites in Chapter 2?
In the story ‘Of Mice and Men’ by Steinbeck has got two opposite characters, Slim who is young and physically fit and Candy who is aged, feeble and not very useful for the ranch.
We first met Candy as the “old swapper”, he is disabled “the sleeve came a round stick-like wrist, but no hand.” and very much of a gossip. He is a very racist person as he always uses the word “nigger” which refers to Crook and he doesn’t care because during The Great Depression it was a very chauvinistic society. From this you can make out that the others on the ranch is prejudice towards the black people. He is also lack of attention so he gossips about people in the ranch specifically Curly and his wife. Therefore we can conclude that he is scared of losing his job at the ranch.
On the positive hand, we have Slim who is the total opposite of Candy. Steinbeck described him in a striking manner. The physical and personality characteristics of Slim epitomize an ideal leader. Slim was first mentioned “a big tall skinner” when George and Lennie hear about him in the ranch, which tells us that he is well-known in the ranch. People treat him with respect as if he was the superior “Slim don’t need to wear no high-heeled boots on a grain team”. This shows us that he does not have to wear “high-heeled boots” in order to get authority “There was a gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when he spoke”. He already has it, and the admiration of the ranch men. They take advices from him “His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be politics or love”. The ranch men call him as “the prince of the ranch” which tells us that he is a very important person for the ranch. He is also young “His hatchet face was ageless” which tells us he is well-built.
Two migrant workers, George and Lennie, camp for the night in a river bottom. Lennie is a large, gentle mentally retarded man, devoted to George and dependant upon him for protection and guidance. Lennie loves to stroke soft, furry things-like mice and puppies-but he does not know his own strength, and often accidentally kills them. He and George share a dream of buying their own piece of land and ...