In Of Mice and Men, what was Candy's dream and who knew about it or shared it?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The character of Candy in Of Mice and Men is ruled by pathos almost through the entire novel. A former swamper, he is handicappped (he lost one hand in a farming accident) and now works for the same farm where Lenny and George land. He is alone, heartbroken by the way his life has turned, and his inability to make any sort of decision about his life is evident in his inability to make the choice of putting his ill dog out of its misery.

Candy does not have a dream of his own; his character is not meant to be a dreamer, because dreamers often do something to make at least some of the dream come true. His character is meant to be futile. For this reason, even dreams have to be someone else's for him to make himself a part of them. This being said, his dream is actually the dream of George and Lennie. He wants to make all three of them part of the dream, which is repeated in a few occasions, almost verbatim, by Lennie and George:

Someday—we're gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and—"

"An' live off the fatta the lan'," Lennie shouted.

The idea of having their own farm, growing their own food, and working as their own masters was something that Candy would have never thought about himself.

"An' have rabbits. Go on, George! Tell about what we're gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in the winter and the stove, and how thick the cream is on the milk like you can hardly cut it.

We assume as readers that he has always been a follower; a man who was content in the former farm up until his accident, and now cannot fathom a way to change his situation.

After listening to George and Lenny, he immediately wants to buy into the plan and even promises to help the men start the dream by offering $300 dollars that he had saved. This would have been great help, as this novel is set during the time of the Great Depression, however, being that the novel is meant to be catastrophic, the money would never: Lennie kills the dream when he accidentally kills Curley's wife and, in order to avoid a cruel and vengeful death for his friend, George shoots Lennie at close range and kills him before Curley's mob arrives.

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