in the book
Answers 3Add Yours
"You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They says he wasn't no good to himself nor nobody else. When they can me here I wisht somebody'd shoot me..."
"I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog."
Also Candy gets really excited at the prospect of joining Lennie and George's dream of the small farm, "And they give me two hundred and fifty dollars 'cause I lost my hand. An' I got fifty more saved up right in the bank right now. That's three hundred..." He is easily willing to give every penny that he is worth to join in their dream and break his intense loneliness.
Candy the old swamper is a character who retains an interesting role in the book, he holds many of the books crucial themes, and amongst them is the significant theme of isolation. In the scene with Candy’s dog, Candy tries to hold on to one of the few things that can keep him company and does not judge him for being old and disabled, his dog. However the rest of the bunk house, in particular Carlson, thinks that the dog is “… no good to you, Candy.” His reasons are that he is old, got no teeth and is stiff with rheumatism. This appears to be almost like a description of Candy not his dog as Steinbeck has used a clever metaphor where Candy’s dog represents Candy himself. Carlson does not seem to understand that although the dog may be unable to work and is useless to Candy in a physical sense, the dog is still a piece of Candy’s life and can be considered as Candy’s only family as he mentions later in the book that he has no living relatives. This shows that the farm hands’ compassion is severely limited and is incredibly short sighted, only looking for the physical benefits of something without looking at the emotional value. Carlson in the book is Steinbeck’s representation of the common American man in the 1930’s and raises the point that people like Carlson are the types of people keeping the society closed for certain peoples and segregating anything different or materially useless. This is further enforced by the way Carlson reacts to Lenny’s death at the end of the book , “Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys?” Carlson doesn’t understand that although Lenny was a person who wasn’t particularly useful to anyone because of his disability, the two characters, George and Slim had an emotional connection with Lenny and therefore it would be understandable for them to be saddened by Lenny’s death. Something else to point out about this scene is the way Lenny is killed, a bullet to the back of the head execution style, exactly the way Carlson had killed Candy’s dog.