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Why doesn't Candy want to kill his dog?

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hunnybnchez | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 21, 2007 at 2:24 AM via web

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Why doesn't Candy want to kill his dog?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 21, 2007 at 3:07 AM (Answer #1)

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On the simplest level, Candy doesn't want to kill his dog because he loves it and remembers lots of great times they had together.

On a more symbolic level, Candy knows that shooting the dog would be like shooting himself. (His dog is old and weak; he is disabled. To agree to get rid of one would be like getting rid of the other.)

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mpenza | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 21, 2007 at 4:34 AM (Answer #2)

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The most relevant answer to your question is that Candy does not want to kill his dog because it is an extension of him. What I mean by this is that since the dog has no "real" use left Carlson wants to kill it; we, as readers, can see that Candy is already thinking that he himself does not have much more "useful" time left. This also goes back to the theme of "usefulness" in the text. As a secondary answer this event also points to the idea that there is to sentimentality on the ranch: once something has ceased to serve a purpose it is discarded. Candy’s dog has been his only companion for years and years and yet when it is recognized as not being able to serve a purpose or there is something else that can do a better job (i.e. Slim’s puppies) then it is discarded. Lastly, this foreshadows the end of the book and Lennie’s eventual death at the hand of George.

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kath555554444 | TA | Honors

Posted June 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM (Answer #3)

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Candy doesn't want to kill his dog because his dog has been with Candy for a long time and his dog has helped him a lot around the farm. 

Candy also is upset that his dog (that is old and weak) is going to die when Candy is just as old and weak. 

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