Character analysis in novel Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck takes place in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. Steinbeck focuses on the hardships of a character named Candy throughout the novella. In the story, Candy is introduced as an older man that cleans the bunkhouses on the ranch. As the novella progresses, we learn more in depth about Candy and how his role becomes more important. In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck presents loneliness, friendships, and American Dream, illustrating that Candy’s traits lead to his corresponding life with George and Lennie. In the book, Of Mice and Men, Candy is lonely and separated from the other men on the ranch because of his age and disability. When he is in the Bunkhouse, he describes how he has no one to help direct him through the hardships on the ranch, and so he states, "When they call me here wisht somebody’d shoot me." (Steinbeck 60). At this moment, Candy feels like he has nothing to live for anymore and does not have the support he needs. Even though Candy is lonely and believes he has no meaning of life anymore, he eventually then starts to build a friendship with George and Lennie when they start to open up with each other. In the book Of Mice and Men, Candy starts to develop a friendship with George and Lennie. As Candy starts to form a bond with George and Lennie, they also begin to build each other's trust within the friendship. As Candy is describing his idea to George, he states, “I'd make a will an' leave my share to you guys in case I kick off…” (59). At that moment, Candy realizes he can sacrifice his life's savings and work from the ranch to George and Lennie because of how strong their friendship has gotten. This conveys that Candy does have a bond with George and Lennie and their trust is growing. Once Candy's relationship grows with George and Lennie, they start to dream of a plan to live somewhere better together. Candy illustrates the motif American Dream in Of Mice and Men, by wanting to move away from the ranch. On the ranch, he wants to move to a farm to fulfill his American Dream by owning land and paving the way for a better life of prosperity and success, but he is mistreated because of his age and disability; which then leads to his work ethic being very little and will not be able to accomplish his dream. The dream he desires is to live on the farm, but when conflict occurs, his dream is no longer viable. He also states, “I could’ve hoed in the garden and washed the dishes for them guys”. (94) Candy yells at Curley’s deceased wife since he knows he won’t get to live on the farm anymore. Candy throws this tantrum because Lennie ruined the chance of fulfilling the dream he wanted.


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