In the novella Of Mice and Men, who does Candy blame for the murder? Why is he so angry at what has happened?  

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Candy finds the body of Curley's wife, he goes immediately to find George and bring him back to the barn. When Candy realizes that Lennie is responsible for the woman's death, he does not blame Lennie. He only shows concern for him, warning George as to how Curley will react. When George leaves the barn, Candy's anger is directed at the dead woman. He blames her for what has happened:

He looked helplessly back at Curley's wife, and gradually his sorrow and his anger grew into words. "You God damn tramp," he said viciously. "You done it, di'n't you? I s'pose you're glad. Ever'body knowed you'd mess things up. You wasn't no good. You ain't no good now, you lousy tart."

Candy is filled with anger because with the woman's death, all dreams of the farm have died, also. At first, he hopes that he and George can "get that little place," but it quickly becomes clear to him that it will never happen. He is filled with grief for what has been lost:

I could of hoed in the garden and washed dishes for them guys . . . . An' they'd of been a pig and chickens . . . an' in the winter . . . the little fat stove . . . an' the rain comin' . . . an' us jus' settin' there.

When Candy leaves the barn, his eyes are "blinded with tears."

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Candy blames Curley's wife for her death. After Candy shows George her dead body, George tells him that Lennie accidentally killed her. Upon hearing this, Candy realizes that his dreams of one day living together with George and Lennie on their own property is ruined. Candy is devastated but asks George if they can still get their own little place. George responds by saying, "-I think I knowed from the very first. I think I know'd we'd never do her" (Steinbeck 47). After George leaves the barn, Candy looks down at Curley's wife and bitterly calls her a "God damn tramp" and "lousy tart." Candy says that Curley's wife messed everything up. He is angry because he knows that he will never get to experience the American dream. Candy will not have the opportunity to grow old and enjoy the fruits of his labor with George and Lennie. He blames Curley's wife because he knows her personality and understands that Lennie is mentally handicapped. If Curley's wife had not approached Lennie because she was so lonely, the accidental murder would have never happened and Candy's dream would still be a possibility. 

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Of Mice and Men

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