Why is the character of Candy included in the novel of mice and men?

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Why is the old swamper Candy included in the novel? I know he shows what the men on the ranch will end up like and he shows the themes of loneliness and discrimination but does he represent anything else? I'm stuck!

Posted Wed 16th May, 2012 @ 21:31 by Beth Woods

4 Answers

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In a way, Candy represents the older generation of the America at the time, and how without health you are discriminated against and shunned from the group (when he doesn’t go out into town with the others). Also he shows the realistic (and somewhat pessimistic) side to the American Dream – beaten down and unrealistic – and also the American’s spirit to always have something to dream about. When he hears about George and Lennie’s dream, it instantly becomes his own as well. I guess that’s why, and the reasons you already said.

Wait, also when his dog is killed, he had no say in the matter, and he confesses to George that he should’ve done it himself. This foreshadows the killing of Lennie, and how George saw Carlson shoot the dog and how it affected Candy. In this case, the dog represents Lennie, who needs to be put down for the benefit and safety of others; Carlson represents Curley, who wanted Lennie dead and Candy represents George, who killed Lennie himself so that he (Lennie) could die with dignity, rather than cowering and at the hands of someone else.

Hope this helps, and anymore questions, feel free to ask :)

Answered Wed 16th May, 2012 @ 21:45 by Hummi C
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It is a bit broad but i was thinking today of how the characters CANDY, Lennie, Crooks and Curley's wife all seem to have or have had dreams, and yet they never come true. I know that no dreams really come true in the novel but it is the dreams of candy (house with George and Lennie), Lennie (house), Crooks (house) and curleys wife (movie star) that really stand out. All of these characters are seen as inferior to everyone else at the time the book is written (candy no hand, lennie is mentally slow, crooks is black, curleys wife is a woman). But there are some people in the novel that their wishes or dreams do seem to come true. For instance, Curley wishes to hit lennie, and he does. Carlson wants to shoot candys dog, and he does. Curley and Carlson are seen as socially more powerful than the others. I think that Candy represents, along with lennie, crooks and curleys wife, how people that are particularly inferior can never have dreams that come true. SORRY FOR WAFFLING!!!! hope this helps :D

Answered Wed 16th May, 2012 @ 21:46 by Connor
Edited by Connor on Wed 16th May, 2012 @ 21:47
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Oh my thank you so much your answer's really helped me!!

Answered Wed 16th May, 2012 @ 21:49 by Beth Woods
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you're welcome :) like i said, if there's anything else then just ask (i've done the exam and got an a*, so i know most of it like the back of my hand!)

Answered Wed 16th May, 2012 @ 21:50 by Hummi C