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May 2004 past paper: question: Past paper answers: which characters do you most feel sympathize
with in the novel `' Of Mice and Men ?''
3 people you feel sorry for:
Curley's wife, crooks, candy
----Curleys wife: she is the only women on the ranch. She is known as Curleys wife which suggest she is
owned by Curley and his property; she is not referred by her own name and doesn't have her own
Carson says, `' why don't you tell her to stay the hell home where she belongs `', suggesting
she is a housewife and nothing more, she is also abused by the people on the ranch who call her
words like, `' bitch `', `' tart'' and `' looloo'' proving that they think she is lower than them. Even
when she is dead candy states, `' you got damn tramp!'' suggesting she was worth nothing
even when she is dead.
----Crooks: I also feel sorry for him because he is also the only black person on the ranch and
therefore he gets racially abused by the other ranch workers. He is also segregated and kept
separated between the other men. He has to sleep in the barn while the other workers sleep in
the bunkhouse. We know this because crooks says to lennie, `' I ant wanted in the bunkhouse
and you not wanted in the barn'' implying that no one wants to be next to him because of his
colour. He is also referd as `' nigger `' by other men all the time as it is something common but
we know that the word `' nigger'' is a word which represents the history of bedtimes between
the black people.
Candy:-- old candy. I feel sorry for him because he is old a crippled like his dog who is a symbol
for him. His dog is his only true friend on the ranch and when he gets shot by Carlson because
he is old; this symbolizes that candy too is old but he will not get shot but will be thrown off
the ranch and have nowhere to go as back in those days there wasn't retirement homes for old
people. Candy states, `' I wish they'd shoot me `' highlighting the fact that he would rather be
hot instead of leaving the ranch as he would have nowhere else to go. That is also why he tries
to gewt involved in George and Lennies dream because that way he would have a place to live.
Moreover I feel even more sorry for him because he and his dog have worked ever so hard and
their finally reward was either being shot or thrown out.
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Overall: we sympathize with all the people in the novel because in some way they all have
problems. They lived during the depression of 1929 and it was very difficult for them to get by in