Why is Candy so interested in George's and Lennie's conversation in Chapter Three of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men?
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In Chapter Three of Steinbeck's novella, Candy loses his dog but gains two friends in George and Lennie. After the other men have left the bunkhouse to see if there will be a fight between Slim and Curley, George, Lennie and Candy remain. Predictably, George's and Lennie's conversation turns to the dream farm which George hopes one day to buy. Lennie, of course, is enthralled with the idea of tending the rabbits. Candy, who is in mourning over his dog, overhears George's description of the farm and is immediately interested. He asks George, “You know where’s a place like that?” Initially, George is suspicious of Candy's interest, but soon he is telling Candy he could buy such a place for $600.
Unfortunately for George, he has never been able to raise enough money because Lennie usually gets in trouble and the two men never work long enough to get a "stake" together. Because Candy knows his time on the ranch is limited and that he has money saved from the settlement he received when he lost his hand, he offers his money to George so that he can go with them and "hoe in the garden." For all three men, the farm represents paradise, a place where they will be free to make their own decisions and bring in their own crops without the fear of being "canned." George gladly accepts Candy's offer and the three men are in bliss as they dream of the day they will leave the ranch and go to their own "little piece of land."
Candy knows that his time on this ranch is almost up. He recognizes that his worth is almost spent and is quite fearful of ending up like his own dog, shot because it's useless.
Candy sees this dream ranch in the same light as Lennie and George, a place to be their own men and do their own things. Candy very much wants to be a part of a place where he is still considered useful and needed.
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