Who is Candy, a character created by John Steinbeck?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Candy is one of the men who live in the ranch house in Soledad in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men."  Older and disabled, he is referred to as "the old swamper"; he no longer goes out with the others.  Instead, he sweeps and cleans the ranch house while the men work in the field. Knowing that, like his dog, he will be banished when he is no longer useful, Candy asks George and Lennie if they will let him contribute to their dream of owning a place of their own as he has saved $350.00 from the payment given him after his accident.  With Lennie and George, Candy has found new hope in his isolation, but, of course, it is short-lived as with Lennie's death, so, too, does the dream of their own place die:  '

Then--it's all off?'  Candy asked sulkily.

As the men rush out in search of Lennie after the death of Curley's wife, Candy lies down hpelessly in the hay of the barn, covering his eyes with his arm in the same manner as when his dog was shot.  For, Curley knows that Lennie will meet the same fate as his old dog.  And, he will soon follow, powerless to change anything.

coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Candy is one of the characters who is portrayed as suffering from a disability in the novel 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck. Two others would be Lennie (learning-challenged) and Crooks (back injury.) Candy's disability is that he is minus one hand - lost in a farm accident on the ranch. Candy is also inferior to the others in terms of age and strength. He does odd jobs round the ranch - but they are probably only keeping him on because of the accident - he doesn't really have a role there as his services are probably superfluous. His anxiety is that, like the dog, he will soon get too old to be of any use at all and looks to the American Dream idea of a little place of their own as a way out of a destitute future.

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Of Mice and Men

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