What is Candy's greatest fear in Of Mice and Men?

In Of Mice and Men, Candy's greatest fear is being fired and left to his own devices outside of the ranch.

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In the story, Candy is an old swamper with one hand and is relatively useless on the ranch. Candy understands that he is extremely vulnerable on the hostile ranch and desperately fears being fired and left to his own devices. As an old, disabled man, Candy recognizes that he is...

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In the story, Candy is an old swamper with one hand and is relatively useless on the ranch. Candy understands that he is extremely vulnerable on the hostile ranch and desperately fears being fired and left to his own devices. As an old, disabled man, Candy recognizes that he is expendable and does not want to end up like his ancient dog, which was shot outside of the bunkhouse by Carlson.

Candy's character represents what happens to older, vulnerable Americans during the Great Depression when they are no longer useful or productive. Candy's only job on the farm is to swamp out the bunkhouse, which is all he can do given his age and disability. If Candy were to get fired, he would not be able to survive for long on his own.

After the death of his beloved dog, Candy becomes discouraged and realizes that a similar fate awaits him. Candy's vulnerability and loneliness motivate him to join George and Lennie's plan of owning a homestead. With nothing to lose, Candy latches onto George and Lennie's dream and is briefly filled with hope and purpose. Candy even offers his life savings to help purchase the property and is excited about the possibility of leaving the hostile ranch. However, when Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife in the barn, their dreams of purchasing a homestead are shattered.

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I am sure that there will be many opinions. The way I see it, Candy feared two things in equal proportion. 

First, he feared dying alone. Candy in the book is an old man. The best years of his life are now gone. The book does not say it, but we can assume that many people in his life have passed away. This means he is more and more alone. This is why he is so attracted to his dog and feels the attraction of the friendship of George and Lennie. He wants to be a part of their dream and life. In this way, he won't be alone.

Second, Candy also feared being expendable. In a very touching scene, the men tell Candy that he should get rid of his dog. Candy objects. His dog has been with him all of these year. How can he get rid of him now? The men give their arguments. The dog is old, good for nothing, and won't even feel pain when they shoot him. Symbolically this is Candy. He is handicapped and old. Do people really need him? 

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