a) In this extract Steinbeck presents Slim as an almost priest- like authority figure: â€˜the prince of the ranchâ€™, with hands that moved like a â€˜temple dancerâ€™. This use of imagery (similie) makes him seem most clear sighted, most correct and most like the authorâ€™s point of view of all charcters. Through Steinbeckâ€™s use of adjectives like â€˜tallâ€™, â€˜leanâ€™ and â€˜delicateâ€™ the reader feels inclined to see Slim as the masculine ideal. He wears a â€˜Stetson hatâ€™ and â€˜blue jeansâ€™ which was the typical fashion of the time. Furthermore when the reader firsts meets him he is combing his â€˜long, black, damp hair straight backâ€™ showing the reader that he is clean and well groomed. He fits the image of the â€œtall, dark and handsomeâ€ man that every woman is looking for with his â€˜hatchet faceâ€™ that never ages. This timelessness coupled with his â€˜majestyâ€™ give him an air of mystery and heroism that was being promoted in movies at ...view middle of the document...
When â€˜he looked kindly at the two in the bunk houseâ€™ and said to George â€˜hope you get on my teamâ€™ gently is further proof to the reader that Slim is genuinely a good person reassuring the reader that it is right to like him.
In conclusion, I personally think the reason why readers seem so inclined to like Slim is because he is the first person in the novella to appear to be a really nice person. Without Slim in the novella, our picture of working men in the novella would be rather grim. He therefore represents a sympathetic influence in the otherwise hostile nature of everyday life on the ranch.
f) Pg 38 introduces the reader to the life of the working man. Steinbeck clearly shows the reader how the working manâ€™s life is ruled by one of the main themes in the novella, poverty. This extract is a long description of the bunk house- where the migrant workers live. Steinbeck describes the walls as â€˜whitewashed and the floor â€˜unpaintedâ€™ showing the reader how little money they have. Whitewash is a very plain, dull colour, almost devoid of life and is the cheapest paint you can get. The fact that they couldnâ€™t even afford to buy that for the floor portrays to the reader how poor they were. Furthermore the alliteration of the letter â€˜wâ€™ in that sentence emphasises their dull, plain, clinical routine.
Steinbeck continues to describe the migrant workersâ€™ sleeping arrangements: â€˜Against the walls were eight bunks, five of them made up with blankets and the other three showing their burlap ticking.â€™ This sentence/imagery alone again tells the reader just how straightforward and plain their life is as burlap is a plain-woven, coarse fabric of jute and/or hemp that offers no comfort and luxury whatsoever. In addition they sleep in bunks emphasising how there isnâ€™t much space and again little luxury.
As the extract progresses the reader realises just how â€˜littleâ€™ home comforts the working man have: â€˜And these shelves were loaded with little articles, soap and talcum powder, razors and those Western magazinesâ€™. We soon learn they donâ€™t even have chairs to sit on, instead they use â€˜grouped boxesâ€™. These possessions or maybe lack of possessions suggest again a very basic living, nothing elaborate, nothing special.