Examine the predicament that George and Candy face regarding their situations with Lennie and the dog.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Candy and George are faced with agonizing decisions regarding something towards which feelings confound a full understanding of what is the right thing to do.  Candy and George are similar in how they both feel challenged in determining the right thing.  Candy realizes he is fighting a losing battle in trying to keep his dog alive.  George understands that he cannot save Lennie from the lynch mob that Carlson and Curley are eagerly leading.  Both Candy and George are left to see an object of their affection and responsibility placed in harm's way.  It is here in which both characters encounter a sense of struggle as they are poised between equally desirable, but ultimately incompatible courses of action.

At the same time, their chosen paths out of such a dilemma are different.  Candy surrenders his dog to the will of the Carlson- led community.  He does not put down his dog, but rather is victimized by "the silence" in waiting for someone else to do it.  Candy remarks on this to George in suggesting that he should have killed his dog by his own hand.  George does what Candy should have in killing Lennie.  In comforting him, telling him about the farm they are going to own, and reminding him that George "ain't never been mad at him," George does what Candy did not do.  It is here in which George and Candy face similar situations that are agonizingly brutal.  However, the manner in which each one acts marks a critical difference between them.