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What grade would I get for this?

Hey, could anyone give this an approximate grade please ?
It's a GCSE essay on Slim in Of Mice and Men for the WJEC exam board

Of all the characters in John Steinbeck's novella "Of Mice and Men," Slim is perhaps the most enigmatic and intriguing. As the respected and skilled mule driver on the ranch, he serves as a moral compass for the other characters and a source for wisdom. Steinbeck presents Slim in various ways, highlighting his physical attributes, dialogues and his actions. Slim’s presences in the novel is significant because of the themes and ideas he represents, such as power and authority,


We first see Slim as a person of immense grace, dignity, and authority. He moves with an air of regal power, and his every action is a testament to his superiority and expertise. This we can see from the quote, “He moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsmen”. The word "majesty" suggests a grandeur and magnificence that is only found in those who possess great power and authority. Slim's movements are described as being "achieved" rather than "natural," indicating that he has perfected his craft and has reached a level of mastery that sets him apart from others. Steinbeck wants readers to see Slim as a powerful figure who is not only respected but also revered by those around him. The author also uses the quote to emphasise Slim's importance within the context of the story. Slim is not just another character, but a leader who plays a critical role in the development of the plot. This quote highlights the theme of power and authority in the novel. Throughout the story, characters struggle to gain power and control over their lives. Slim's character, however, represents the epitome of this struggle, as he has achieved a level of authority that is not easily attained.

We see that Slim is not afraid to take action and make tough decisions through the quote “I drowned four of them right off”. This implies that he is a leader among the men on the ranch and that his fellow workers respect and look up to him for his expertise and decisiveness. Additionally, it demonstrates the harshness of ranch life, where animals are viewed as mere commodities and sometimes must be dealt with in a ruthless manner. Furthermore, Slim's use of the word "drowned" is significant. To drown an animal is a brutal act, and the use of this word suggests a sense of power and control over life and death. This mirrors the larger theme of power dynamics in the novel, where characters struggle to assert their dominance and gain control over their own lives. Slim's ability to control and end the lives of animals shows that he has a level of power and control that others on the ranch may not possess. Additionally, the fact that Slim was able to drown the puppies so quickly and without hesitation implies that he has become desensitised to the harshness of life on the ranch. This highlights the idea that in order to survive in such an environment, one must become hardened and unfeeling, which is a common theme throughout the novel.

Slim is a humble person who does not seek attention or praise for his actions as he “moved back slightly so his face was not in the light”. The phrase "moved back slightly" implies that Slim is modest and does not want to draw attention to himself. He is aware of his position on the ranch and his reputation as a skilled and respected worker, but he does not feel the need to flaunt his abilities or take credit for his actions. The use of the word "light" in the sentence can be interpreted as a symbol of goodness, hope, and purity. By contrast, darkness can represent negativity, evil, or chaos. Slim's decision to move out of the light can be seen as a metaphor for his desire to remain in the shadows and avoid being exposed to the light of truth. This interpretation can be supported by the fact that Slim is often presented as a character who is secretive and mysterious. He is known to be a man of few words, and his actions are often shrouded in secrecy. His reluctance to be in the light can be interpreted as a sign of his desire to remain hidden and avoid scrutiny. Furthermore, the use of the word "slightly" in the sentence can be interpreted as a subtle indication of Slim's true nature. The fact that he only moves back slightly suggests that he is not completely in the shadows, but is still within reach of the light. This can be interpreted as a metaphor for Slim's ambiguous character, suggesting that he is not entirely good or evil, but somewhere in between. In this sense, the author's purpose in using this quote is to hint at the possibility of a darker side to Slim's character. By portraying him as a character who is hiding in the shadows and avoiding the light of truth, the author suggests that there may be more to Slim than meets the eye. This can create a sense of tension and unease in the reader, as they begin to question whether Slim is truly the virtuous character that he is initially presented as.

We also see Slim as a kind and fair character as he speaks to Crooks friendly and welcomingly. He says “Oh! Hello Crooks, what’s the matter”. The use of the word "hello" suggests a familiarity and warmth, indicating that Slim has a degree of respect for Crooks. This is significant, given the racial prejudices of the time period and the way in which African Americans were often dehumanised and mistreated. Slim's friendly greeting implies that he is not defined by these prejudices and sees Crooks as a fellow human being, deserving of basic respect and decency. Furthermore, the use of the word "matter" implies that Slim is genuinely interested in Crooks' wellbeing and wants to know what is troubling him. This shows that Slim is not only an authority figure but also someone who cares about the people around him and is willing to listen and offer support. This is significant because during the 1930s racism and prejudice was very common and it would have been unusual for a white man to treat a black man with respect.


Overall, Slim is a character that plays an important role in the novella, because he is looked up to by the other men on the ranch, due to his power and authority that he has developed whilst being on the ranch. His character may represent the ideal for the men in the 1930s and could be used to show that it can be a realistic event, if they put work into it.
(edited 1 year ago)
well written 8/9 i’d say

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