Slim is the “prince of the ranch. ” He’s the perfect picture of a consummate Western male: masterful, strong, fair-minded, practical, non-talkative, and exceptionally good at what he does. He is portrayed as a god among men, and his word on any subject is law. He decides who is wrong and right, who’s been naughty, and who’s been nice. The other men recognize his superiority and never question his actions or decisions. Slim is also sensitive, but not overly so. He is the only one who understands George’s affinity for Lennie, and also the only one to comprehend the gravity of George’s final act for Lennie.
As a ranch-man archetype, Slim represents the cool justice of the ranch world. While life isn’t always going to be pleasant, men like Slim can assure it will be fair, even if that means hurting some people. Slim’s keen sense of how things should be done isn’t too caught up in ethics, nor is it too sentimental. He just understands what should be and what shouldn’t be, and he seems to dictate according to the natural order, which is comforting to the men when so much of the world seems order-less, without rhyme or reason.
Dressed in a “short denim jacket” and “blue jeans” he is depicted ordinary, like his fellow workers, which adds to the gravity of his personality; the stark contrast between divinity and ordinary people. The theme of divinity or superiority is taken further; Slim is described as having “god-like eyes”, hands that move with the grace of “temple dancers” and how he can invite confidence without demanding it. The word “slim”, meaning not fat or thick, gives the image of a lean man coupled with being tall in stature. An ageless, “hatchet face” contrasts his appearance even more, seeming young for his infinite wisdom.