What piece of farm machinery caused Candy to lose his hand?

Expert Answers

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There is no textual evidence in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men indicating exactly how Candy lost his right hand. When he is introduced in Chapter Two he is described as pointing out George's and Lennie's bunks with "a round stick-like wrist but no hand." Later, in Chapter Three he explains to George that he lost his hand on the ranch and they gave him the "job swampin'" out the bunkhouses along with $250 as compensation. Since he lost his hand on the ranch it could be guessed that it was a work accident, maybe involving the "thrashin' machines" which George mentions in Chapter One and would have been used to help harvest grain. Such a machine would have fast moving blades for cutting down the stalks of barley or wheat. Whatever the reason, Candy is fearful that one day he will be fired from the ranch because he is no longer useful. Therefore, he is intently interested in going along with George and Lennie to the ranch which George says he can buy for $600. Candy readily commits all of his money to the dream farm so he might one day "hoe in the garden" on his own piece of land. 

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