Candy is one of the main characters in Of Mice and Men. He is an old man who works on the ranch with George and Lennie. Candy is disabled, having lost his hand in an accident, and is no longer able to do much work. This makes him feel useless and leads to him feeling depressed and lonely.
Candy is a very compassionate person, always looking out for others. He takes care of Slim’s dog when Slim is away, and he also tries to help George and Lennie when they are in trouble. Despite his own difficult life, Candy always tries to make things better for those around him.
Even though he is kind-hearted, Candy can also be quite selfish. He doesn’t want to see George and Lennie get kicked off the ranch, because that would mean he would have no one to talk to. He is also reluctant to give up his dog, even though it is clear that the dog is suffering. In many ways, Candy is a symbol of the loneliness and isolation that many of the characters in the novel feel.
At the end of the story, Candy finally realizes that he can’t keep living like this. He decides to put his faith in George and Lennie’s dream, and gives them all the money he has saved up. This act of generosity shows us that, despite everything, Candy is still a good person at heart.
Candy is presented as a fragile figure by Steinbeck. He does so by referring to him as an “old man” before mentioning his name, which is pre-modification; therefore the reader immediately understands not only his physical condition, but maybe also metaphorically he is a weak individual. He’s shown to be desperate in chapter 2’s opening, when he tries to make friends with George and Lennie right away.
This is done through his dialogue, “You got a cigarette?” He says this in order to try and engage with them, which he wouldn’t do if he wasn’t lonely. Furthermore, when Slim tells him that he can sleep in the bunkhouse, Steinbeck uses Candy’s reaction to show how little self-worth he has. He says “I ain’t so awful old, am I? Think I could still work a little now an’ then. I ain’t so decrepit nobody couldn’ know I was around.
Do ya think maybe Curley’d let me kinda help out? Of course, I couldn’ expect nothin’ regular, but just now an’ then, when there was a job no one else wanted to do. I think I could still do that. What do you think, Slim?” He uses a number of words which display his insecurity such as “decrepit” and also he asks for Slim’s opinion, which suggests he is worried about what others think of him.
Candy is also used by Steinbeck to highlight the theme of loneliness. This is done through foreshadowing at the beginning of the novel. When George and Lennie first meet Candy, he tells them about how he used to have a “right hand man” but he died and now he is all alone. Of course, at this point in the novel, the reader does not know that Lennie is going to die.
However, Steinbeck uses this conversation to create a sense of foreboding, which is only realised later on when Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife and has to be put down himself. In addition, Candy is used to show how cruel people can be in Of Mice and Men. This is most evident in the scene where he begs George not to leave him alone, but George tells him that he has to as it is “the best thing”. Cookie also throws away his food without any remorse, which displays how little people care for Candy.
Candy often gossips about the other people on the ranch to make sure that George will not tell Curley anything. This one quote implies that Candy is lonely and desperately wants friends, but he is also afraid of the other men on the ranch. He needs to be welcoming and confident towards George and Lennie in order to gain their friendship, but this comment shows his fear of being found out by Curley. As a result, it seems clear that Candy the ranch as his only home.
When George and Lennie are talking about their farm, Candy listens in curiously and becomes very interested, almost as if it’s his dream too. He begs to be a part of it and when they say no, he offers to put in all the money he has saved up over the years, just so he can have a place to belong.
This shows how desperately Candy wants companionship and a family to call his own, which would explain why he is so quick to befriend George and Lennie. Even though he is old, wrinkled and smells bad, Steinbeck still makes him seem like a human being who deserves compassion and friendship.
When Curley’s wife enters the scene, she flirtatiously talks to the men in the bunkhouse, including Candy. She is not afraid to show her body and uses it to get what she wants from the men, whether it’s attention or sexual favors. When Lennie is alone in the barn with her, she tries to take advantage of him and gets more than she bargained for. In the end, she met a gruesome death that could have been avoided if she had just stayed away from the men in the first place. Although she was not a nice person, Steinbeck still manages to evoke sympathy from the reader because she was lonely and only wanted attention from someone, even if it meant using her body to get it.
Candy is an old, disabled man who lives on the ranch with George and Lennie. He is friends with them and helps them out when they need it. He is also the one who finds Curley’s wife’s dead body after Lennie kills her. Candy is a gossip and likes to talk to people, but he is also afraid of them.