Of Mice and Men

How does Steinbeck make the scene in which Candy's dog is shot so dramatic and why does he make such a big deal of it?

Please can you write it is an essay style, please mention a synopsis of the scene also

Thanks

Asked by
Last updated by jonathan b #342723
Answers 3
Add Yours

Steinbeck has Candy lying in bed with his dog. Carlson approaches him about his dog. This moment has been expected for some time. Candy agrees to give up his dog under great duress. Steinbeck keeps Candy on his bunk, face hidden away. He puts in a prolonged moment when we wait to hear the gun shot. This is so effective because we know that in many ways, Candy and his dog represent the same things. Finally the gunshot is heard and we see Candy's body spasm in grief.

Steinbeck has Candy lying in bed with his dog. Carlson approaches him about his dog. This moment has been expected for some time. Candy agrees to give up his dog under great duress. Steinbeck keeps Candy on his bunk, face hidden away. He puts in a prolonged moment when we wait to hear the gun shot. This is so effective because we know that in many ways, Candy and his dog represent the same things. Finally the gunshot is heard and we see Candy's body spasm in grief.

And I think the man dies. I think he does.

The mechanics of the drama in the scene are formulaic , as many of Steinbeck's dramatic devices are, yet the effects are not so much dependent upon the drama as they are the sympathy of the reader. Steinbeck excels at this. Having Candy turned to the wall (in the same pose as Lennie was when he held the pup), drawing out the time until others wonder what is taking Carlson so long, and the spasm at the moment of the gunshot are all intended to humanize the grief that Candy is already feeling knowing his old dog is past help and suffering. It also reinforces the shame Candy feels for not taking care of it himself.

This scene is also a foreshadowing of how George "takes care" of Lennie at the end of the novella. Unlike Candy, George does what he must so that Lennie need not suffer unduly.