In Of Mice and Men, what is Candy's physical description? What is his personality & some of his actions (in 4 sentences)?

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e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Candy is a somewhat lonely, worn-out ranch hand who temporarily enjoys the dream of owning some property with George and Lennie. Good-natured and kind, Candy works on the ranch cleaning up the bunk-house because he has only one hand and, besides that, he is a bit too old to hump barley bags.

"Candy, a swamper on the barley ranch. He makes George’s and Lennie’s dream seem possible, for he has three hundred and fifty dollars and wants to join them" (eNotes).

Physically, Candy is introduced as a "tall, stoop-shouldered old man" who, at one point, extends his right arm "and out of the sleeve came a round stick-like wrist, but no hand."

Candy's shining moment in the story comes when he defends his friends and their dream of land ownership against the ridicule of Curley's wife in Crooks' room in the stable house. Though Candy quickly subsides and abandons his position as an assertive, confident and potent personage on the ranch, he does display here a certain nobility. 

Describing Candy (character, appearance and actions) in just four sentences, we might say:

Candy is an old, crippled ranch hand who works sweeping out the bunk house. He is a friendly person, though he lacks friends. He shows a certain amount of nobility and generosity in the story, offering up his own money to support a shared dream of land ownership and defending that dream against the cynical wife of Curley. In the end, Candy is disappointed when Lennie destroys the possibility of achieving that dream, but for a time he is happy with the promise of it. 

durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main characters in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck are Lennie Small and George Milton, two migrant workers. Lennie's surname defies his true stature as he is a big man which is part of the problem for the simple-minded Lennie who has no concept of his own brute strength which will, tragically lead to his ultimate death. George, Lennie's best friend and his protector, is somewhat overwhelmed by his role but he tries to protect Lennie who unwittingly brings trouble upon himself repeatedly. Lennie does have an idea that he is a burden and offers to, "fin' a cave an' I'll live there so I won't be no more trouble to George," but he really wants to raise rabbits on a ranch with George and the two men do talk of their dream to "live off the fatta the lan'."

Candy, an old ranch hand on a farm where the two men find work, is able to add an almost realistic edge to George and Lennie's dreams of their own ranch as he has some money saved and, if he joins the two men, perhaps there is a possibility of a future for all of them. Candy is old and obviously suffered during his working life, with only one hand and  stooped shoulders. He despises Curley's wife and his lack of compassion can be seen when, after she dies, Candy mocks her and almost blames her for the situation. He is bitter as he watches any dream of escape and a new life flash by. 

mkcapen1 | Student

Candy is the old ranch hand who is unable to work anymore because of his mangled hand.  Here are some sentences that should be able to help you.

Candy is a lonely man.  The only thing he had in his life was his old dog that everyone made fun of because it stunk.  After the dog is shot and put out of its misery Candy cries.  He is then totally alone.

Candy is relatively meek and helpless when it comes to taking a stand against the other ranch hands.  Carlson pretty much bullies him into letting him take Candy's dog out and shooting him.  When Candy can't win he gives up and lies down in his bunk looking at the ceiling.  Later he feels guilty for not having been the one to shoot his own dog.

  Candy only has one hand because he lost his other on the ranch.  He works as a swamper cleaning out the bunkhouse.  He is old and not much good anymore.  Candy has whiskers for a beard.