Who and what is a loyal friend in Of Mice and Men?

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Despite his complaints about what a burden Lennie is to him, George Milton is a loyal friend to Lennie Small. For, in the end George cannot permit the other men to capture Lennie and he shoots Lennie so that he will not be put into an asylum. However, loyalty is exhibited more throughout the novel by Candy and his dog. That his dog has been a faithful companion to the old swamper is exemplified by how the dog follows him everywhere and lies beneath his bunk. When Carlson wishes to shoot the old dog, Candy becomes distraught and looks "for help from face to face." Then he looks to Slim "to try to find some reversal." Sadly, Candy must allow the dog to be put down; however, he can only stare at the ceiling, and then face the wall after he hears the shot.

Later in the narrative, Candy displays his loyalty to George and Lennie when he joins them in their plans to own a farm,

"I'd made a will an' leeave my share to you guys in case I kick off, 'cause I ain't got no relatives nor nothing...."

When Curley's wife comes into the barn where Lennie talks with Crooks, Candy defends George and Lennie when Crooks mocks their future plans,

...we're gonna do it. George says we are. We got the money right now....Me an' Lennie an' George. We gonna have a room to ourself."

When Curley's wife makes fun of Lennie, Candy protects him, "...you let this guy alone....I'm gonna tell George what you says.  George won't have you messin' with Lennie."  As the acrimony continues, Lennie worries, "I wisht George was here."  But, Candy consoles him, "George'll be in the bunkhouse right now, I bet." Then, he tells Curley's wife that she should leave. Later, when she is dead, the loyal Candy is upset that she has caused Lennie to be in trouble. Truly, Candy is a loyal friend.

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