Who is the swamper in "Of Mice and Men"?

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cybil's profile pic

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Candy, the old man who lost his hand in an accident on the ranch, is called the swamper. That title refers to his job of sweeping out and probably mopping the bunkhouse. Because of his disability, he can do very little around the ranch, but he can wield a broom and mop.

mlsldy3's profile pic

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The swamper is Candy. Swamper is his nickname. Candy's character is one that is important in the novel. He lives in fear all the time.

Candy is an old and aging man. He only has one hand, as the result of an accident. Candy's disability causes him fear. He fears that his boss will make him leave the ranch, once he finds him useless. Candy's dog is old and probably dying. Carson wants to put the dog out of its misery, and this just goes to farther Candy's fears. He believes this is the fate that awaits anyone once they are past their prime. Candy's only hope in the book, is the thought of living on the farm that George and Lennie want to buy. He sees a few acres that he thinks would be good for them. He gives them money to buy the land. He believes this is his last chance at being able to do something useful. 

Candy is a sad character. Anyone who lives in fear is sad. He thinks he doesn't belong anymore and that no one will want him around. He is a reminder of how society treats those who seem to be of no use.


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