What did Candy from Of Mice and Men represent?

Expert Answers
kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Candy represents the situation that many of the men who were labourers during the Depression found themselves in: that their futures are as bleak as their past and their present.


 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.


Also, Candy’s love for his dog, and his fierce defence of it is reflected in George’s loyalty to Lennie. The shooting of Candy’s dog by Carlson foreshadows George’s shooting of Lennie, and in fact Candy’s response after the shooting of the dog may well have influenced George’s decision to kill Lennie himself rather than let the lynch mob have him or him be locked away.


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

mkcapen1 | Student

In the story "Of Mice and Men" Candy is the ranch hand that has grown old. He has lost sight of his dreams and hopes that he probably once had as a young man.  He never married and is lonely.  He serves no valuable function in society. He represents what George could become if he continues to stay a ranch hand without dreams.  Candy is atypical of ranch hands in that he has nothing left but his dog, whose life will soon be taken from him when Carlson kills the dog.  However, George is the opposite of Candy.  He has Lennie and he has a plan that makes him somewhat better and a more positive concept than Candy.