George and Lennie, Candy and his dog, and Curley and his wife: what is the basis for each relationship?

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The basis of George and Lennie's relationship concerns their mutual need for company, friendship, and affection. As migrant workers, both George and Lennie cherish each other's company and appreciate their companionship as they travel throughout the western United States looking for jobs. George acts as Lennie's caretaker, and Lennie provides George with much-needed friendship, comradery, and company. Their relationship is based on mutual understanding, generosity, and compassion.

Candy and his dog share a similar relationship to George and Lennie, which is based on compassion and support. Candy provides and cares for his ancient dog while his dog gives him company and affection. Candy is heartbroken after Carlson kills his old dog and regrets not taking his dog's life himself. Candy's close bond with his dog mirrors George and Lennie's friendship, and the outcome of their relationship foreshadows George's decision to kill Lennie out of mercy. Unlike Candy, who allows Carlson to kill his dog, George takes matters into his own hands and ends Lennie's life before Curley's party has the chance to torture him.

Curley and his wife's relationship is based on control and resentment. Curley is portrayed as an overprotective, extremely jealous husband, who is constantly worried that his wife is cheating on him. Curley does not trust his wife and gets into a serious argument with Slim after he accuses him of flirting with her. Curley's wife resents her husband's controlling, aggressive nature and feels stifled and oppressed on the farm. She admits to Lennie that she regrets marrying Curley and feels extremely lonely on the farm.

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George and Lennie have a relationship built on mutual need. Lennie needs someone to take of him, George needs a companion. In this way they are both enriched by the relationship.

Candy and his dog are in similar situations in life. Both have lived past their usefulness, but they still have each other. After the dog is killed, Candy feels a deep sense of loneliness, emptiness. This foreshadows how George will probably feel after Lennie dies. Their relationship serves as a lesson to George. When Candy says “I should have shot him myself” the reader is supposed to connect this to his eventual shooting of Lennie.

Curley and his wife have a different sort of relationship. They are not mutually beneficial to each other. Their relationship is filled with suspicion, anger, and abuse. There is really nothing good in it.

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