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Symbol: Lack of Sympathy Chapter 3 really shows that life on the ranch is cruel and unforgiving. Candy is repeatedly pressured into killing his old dog. Every ranch hand, even Slim, convinces Candy that the old dog needs to be put out of its misery, He eventually allows Carson to execute his dog, but definitely was unsupportive of it. It is a clear statement that once something becomes even a slight burden around the ranch, it is ridden from the ranch forever.
Theme: Loneliness Loneliness is portrayed in a few ways in chapter 3. Lennie receives Curleys out lash of anger about suspecting his wife of cheating by getting punched, He ends up breaking Curleys arm in retaliation. Once the conflict is over, George assures Lennie everything is fine. Due to Lennies characteristics, all he was worried about was being by himself and never getting to tend the rabbits as punishment - his own version of loneliness.
Characterization: Slim Slims character is slightly more shown in chapter 3. He offers both Lennie and Candy puppies. He is a big mediator in ranch conflicts and decisions, described as a master skinner, Steinbeck clearly wants the reader to know Slim is mature and has the voice of reason. In this chapter he also convinces Curley not to have George and Lennie fired after Lennie breaks his arm - a respectful way of making sure George and Lennie weren't punished for giving Curley what he deserved. Also a key point of his character in the end is that he's the only one who can understand the context in which George killed Lennie.
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