In chapter 3, in what way is Candy similar to his dog? How does this further explain his reluctance to do what Carlson suggests?

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Candy and his dog share several similarities. Candy and his dog are both old, handicapped, and essentially useless on the ranch. Candy lost his right hand in an accident, and his dog is nearly blind. Candy's only job on the ranch is to "swamp" out the bunkhouse, because he is considered too old to engage in hard labor. Similarly, Candy's dog serves no purpose on the farm and wanders aimlessly around the ranch. Candy and his dog represent what happens to everyone in the economically depressed country once they become too old to work and provide for themselves. Once individuals are no longer useful, they are disposed of and let go.

When Carlson petitions Candy to shoot his dog, Candy refuses. Candy sympathizes with his old dog because he is in a similar situation. Candy understands that he is also past his prime and can be disposed of at any time. His reluctance to end his dog's life parallels his fate. Candy does not want to be let go, in the same way that he does not want to shoot his dog.

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Candy is similar to his dog in several ways. First, they are both old and past their prime. The dog is described as "lame" and Candy has lost a hand. Candy very reluctantly allows the dog to be shot as a way to put him out of his misery. Clearly, his strong identification with his dog makes it difficult to part with it. We then hear how worried Candy is about his own future as he asks eagerly to be part of George and Lennie's dream of owning their own small farm. In talking to George and Lennie, he compares himself to his dog:

 You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They says he wasn’t no good to himself nor nobody else. When they can me here I wisht somebody’d shoot me. But they won’t do nothing like that. I won’t have no place to go, an’ I can’t get no more jobs.

In other words, Candy sees his dog as having met a better fate than he will once he is let go from the ranch. But their ends are similar: both essentially lose the chance to live once they are too old to work. For Candy, the dream of the farm provides some hope: he imagines cooking and hoeing in the garden and being able to stay alive in his old age with companionship and dignity. 

 

 

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