Explain some similarities between Candy and his dog and George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men.

The relationship between Candy and his dog is extremely similar to that of George and Lennie. Candy's dog is a constant companion, as George and Lennie are for each other. Both the dog and Lennie are helpless and look to their counterpart for care and guidance. Candy and George are both attached to their companions, despite the difficulties involved in caring for them. The dog's death foreshadows the death of Lennie and George's need to carry it out personally.

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The most evident similarity is the fact that both Lennie and Candy's dog provide companionship to the men to whom they are attached. Lennie shares a very close relationship with George and provides him with comfort. Because of Lennie, George—unlike the other men on the ranch—has someone on whom he...

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The most evident similarity is the fact that both Lennie and Candy's dog provide companionship to the men to whom they are attached. Lennie shares a very close relationship with George and provides him with comfort. Because of Lennie, George—unlike the other men on the ranch—has someone on whom he can rely and with whom he can communicate. Lennie is a trusting and trustworthy friend who will always be there for him. Candy's dog provides his owner with the same kind of friendship and security. Even though the animal cannot respond, as Lennie can to George, it has the same attachment to Candy and gives him the comfort that he at least has something that the other ranch hands lack.

In both relationships, one is a caregiver while the other is the receiver of such care. George looks after Lennie and is his mentor. Lennie depends on him to find them jobs and to act in his best interests. There is a relationship of trust between them. Candy has been tending to his dog ever since it was a puppy. He has provided for it, and it apparently trusts him. In both instances, though, that trust is betrayed. Candy gives in to pressure from Carlson and allows him to shoot the dog. He is led to believe that it is in the best interests of the animal that it be shot. George, likewise, believes that it is to Lennie's advantage that he should kill him at the end of the story. He wants to protect his friend from Curley's vengeance and brutality.

The animal imagery Steinbeck uses to describe Lennie also likens him to an animal. Lennie is intellectually disabled and has poor judgment. He cannot always fathom the outcomes of his actions. One can say that, in this regard, Lennie can be seen as George's pet. The relationship between the two men is akin to that between a caring owner and his charge, just as it is in the relationship between Candy and his dog.

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The most evident of the similarities between both situations is that one in each must die.  Candy lets Carlson shoot his dog when the old canine is no longer of use and when others fail to support the dog's ability to live.  Candy lives with the guilt of letting someone else kill something that he loved so much.  In much the same way, George is forced to kill Lennie rather than let others kill him.  Both Candy's dog and Lennie are shot away from the eyes of others.  One can even argue that both Lennie and Candy's dog are unaware of what is happening or going to happen to them, as Candy's dog really does not offer much in way of resistance when Carlson approaches him and takes him out.  Lennie's last words the leave his lips are the vision of his future and the farm that awaits him.  Both George and Candy are filled with an immense emptiness after their companion leaves them.  It is for this reason that Candy is so insistent on joining Lennie and George.  It is also for this reason that George appears disconsolate at the end of the novella, besides himself with a sense of loss that underscores the pain of what it meant to lose someone so close.

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Candy is similar to his dog in multiple ways. Both are old and limited in their abilities. Candy lost his hand on the job years ago. Due to his old age and disability, he has outlived his usefulness as far as society and his employers are concerned. He is allowed to do small, non-laborious tasks on the ranch, but Candy knows that he is dispensable and he fears what will happen to him when he completely ceases to be of use to his employers. This is the reason he wants in on George and Lennie's plan to buy their own property. Between his age and limitations, Candy will not be able to find another job or place to live. He says,

You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They say 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.

Much like his owner, Candy's dog is old and disabled. He was a sheep herder when he was younger, but is now old, frail, missing teeth and physically limited due to rheumatism. He is barely able to walk and no longer able to work as a sheep herder.

George and Lennie are different in many ways, but similar in that they are both poor farm workers who have each other to rely on and a shared dream of one day owning their own property and working for themselves.

Candy's relationship with his dog parallels George's relationship with Lennie. Just as Candy has his dog as a constant companion, Lennie is a companion to George. Lennie is helpless and looks to George to guide and care for him, just as the dog looks to Candy for guidance and care. Both Candy and George love their companions despite the difficulties of caring for them. The death of Candy's dog foreshadows Lennie's death, as well as George's need to carry it out himself. Soon after his dog's death, Candy says,

I oughtta of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't oughtta of let no stranger shoot my dog.

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Steinbeck often establishes analogies between characters or situations in a somewhat obvious way. Candy's dog is old and sick. He is going to die soon anyway, and this is the reason Candy is urged, by Carlson, to euthanize the dog, which Carlson himself finally does. Steinbeck intends the shooting of Lennie by George at the close of the story to be not necessarily an equivalent situation, but a similar one in which someone takes it into his hands to perform a kind of mercy killing. George knows that the ranch hands will probably lynch Lennie or, if they hand him over to the police for killing Curly's wife, Lennie will be tried and executed for murder.

Though Steinbeck deals with this subject in a compassionate way, it's unfortunate his implication is that because Lennie is developmentally disabled, his life should be ended and is seemingly of no more value than that of an old, infirm dog. Animals today, of course, are normally and humanely "put down" when their end is near. That George must kill Lennie is the tragic result of the fact that, in the rural laboring environment of the 1930's, there was little understanding generally of disabled people and the special problems they face.

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Candy and his dog and George and Lennie are in parallel relationships. Both Candy and George are deeply attached to a disabled living being. Candy loves his dog and relies on him for companionship, just as George does Lennie. Both are fortunate to have something or someone to care for and protect. As the book points out, being alone, isolated, and on the road traveling from job to job can make the migrant workers "mean" because their hearts shrivel from loneliness.

Candy's dog is disabled in being so old and infirm. It smells bad and bothers other ranch hands in the bunk house. Because of the other men, Candy ends up having to shoot the beloved dog.

Lennie is mentally handicapped and doesn't know his own strength. This also causes problems on the ranch, for Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife. George, too, is forced to shoot his beloved companion. Steinbeck shows there is no real place for innocent misfits like Candy's dog and Lennie in the society in which they live.

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A similarity between Candy and his dog and George and Lennie lies in how people have companions despite a world where most are individualistic.

The world that Steinbeck creates is an individualistic one.  Ranch hands move in and out of work settings on their own, like transients.  They are on their own, solitary and isolated.  People who are there today are not there tomorrow. This world speaks to the economic hardship that besieged many.  People moved around the country to find work and did not really seek to forge emotional attachments in the name of subsistence.  

In Chapter 3, George and Lennie and Candy and his dog are exceptions to this rule.  Both sets of characters travel together.  They are not isolated from others.  Rather, they demonstrate a sense of community in a world that is highly atomized. George and Lennie buck the trend in how they travel together. They go from place to place, looking for work.  However, they do so as a pair.  In the same way, wherever Candy goes, so does his dog.  They are inseparable.  In a setting where there is little camaraderie, George and Lennie and Carlson and his dog challenge this prevailing trend.

George and Candy go out of their way to prove to others the merits of their companions.  For example, when talking to the boss about Lennie, George says that while Lennie might not be smart, "he's sure a hell of a good worker.  Strong as a bull."  In the same way, when George remarks to Candy how old his dog is.  Candy responds with a supportive advocacy for his companion: "Yeah. I had ‘im ever since he was a pup. God, he was a good sheepdog when he was younger."  A similarity between George and Lennie and Candy and his dog is that the dominant companion in the relationship feels obliged to defend their counterpart to others. 

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In John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, what happens with Candy and his old dog foreshadows what happens between George and Lennie at the end of the novel. Candy's dog is at the point in its life when it is worn out with old age and various ailments. Thus, Carlson urges Candy to put the dog out of its misery. Candy cannot bring himself to do it, though, because he has had the dog since it was a puppy. Given Candy's attachment to the dog, Carlon shoots the dog in Candy's stead.

Like Candy's old dog, Geoge and Lennie have been together for a long time. At the end of the novel, Lennie is facing imminent death at the hands of the lynch mob. Whereas Carlson puts Candy's dog out of his misery, Steinbeck has George himself kill Lennie before the lynch mob can kill Lennie. George even uses the same weapon as Carlson:

He reached in his side pocket and brought out Carlson’s Luger; he snapped off the safety, and the hand and gun lay on the ground behind Lennie’s back. He looked at the back of Lennie’s head, at the place where the spine and skull were joined.

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A very revealing quote in the book is made by Carlson, who suggests to Candy that "That dog ain't no good to hisself."  The conventional wisdom in the bunkhouse with the guys is that the dog needs to be put out of his misery, that it is something expendable, no matter how valuable it is to Candy.

Later, after Lennie's crime is revealed to the men, Slim suggests to George that even if they were able to keep Curly from killing Lennie, that locking a person up in a cage would be worse than killing him.  That no matter how important Lennie was to George, killing him might be the only option.

In both the part of the novel where Candy surrenders to the idea of his dog being shot and where George comes to terms with the idea that Lennie must also be shot, and that he ought to be the one to do it, you could say that George took in the example of Candy and his dog when he made his decision to kill Lennie himself.

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There are a lot of similarities here.  I think there are two major ones.  In both cases, one of them relies pretty much completely on the other.  The dog relies on Candy, Lennie relies on George.  Also, in both cases, the one of them has to allow the other one to be killed.

In a lot of ways, the killing of the dog is a foreshadowing of the end of the book.  However, the parallel is not exact.  George learns from how Candy felt.  He doesn't want someone else to kill his "pet."  So, instead, he does it himself.  I think he feels it is kinder to Lennie and I think it makes him feel better than if he let someone else do it.

As for a quote, Candy tells George

I ought to of shot that dog myself, George.  I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog."

I think George hears this in his head as he goes after Lennie.

 

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