Of Mice and Men

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Candy Character Analysis

An old handyman who greets George and Lennie at the ranch. The owner of an old and feeble dog, Candy is himself crippled—he lost his hand in an accident on the ranch. Candy is a man who has been broken by life in general and the Depression in particular, and he is desperate for some hope or dream to believe in. He therefore latches onto George and Lennie's plan to buy a farm, and offers his life savings to help them.

Candy Quotes in Of Mice and Men

The Of Mice and Men quotes below are all either spoken by Candy or refer to Candy. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Broken Plans Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Books edition of Of Mice and Men published in 1993.
Part 3 Quotes
"Carl's right, Candy. That dog ain't no good to himself. I wisht somebody'd shoot me if I got old an' a cripple."
Related Characters: Slim (speaker), Candy, Carlson
Related Symbols: Candy's Dog
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

Candy,  an old swamper on the ranch who lost his hand to a machine, has an old dog whom he adores. However, the other men whom he bunks with complain that it is useless and smelly. When Slim's dog gives birth to a littler of puppies, Carlson proposes that he put Candy's dog out of its misery and replace it with a puppy. In this quote, Slim agrees. He attempts to sympathize with the dog by saying that if he were "old an' a cripple," he would want someone to shoot him, but unfortunately, this statement seems to bear more resemblance to Candy's situation: he is no longer an efficient worker due to his age and disability, but he has kept his job out of pity from the boss. The fact that all the workers get together to convince Candy that he should let his dog go makes Candy nervous that he, too, will one day be ousted--or worse--for a younger worker. 

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S'pose they was a carnival or a circus come to town, or a ball game, or any damn thing." Old Candy nodded in appreciation of the idea. "We'd just go to her," George said. "We wouldn't ask nobody if we could. Jus' say, 'We'll go to her,' an' we would. Jus' milk the cow and sling some grain to the chickens an' go to her
Related Characters: George Milton (speaker), Candy (speaker)
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

Candy overhears Lennie and George talking about the farm they one day want to own and pipes up that he, too, would love to get in on the deal. He says that he has money saved up from the settlement when he was injured, and that he would work on the land for no pay. In this quote, George and Candy both relish the idea that if they owned their own farm, they would not have to answer to anyone--if there was something they wanted to do, they wouldn't have to worry about losing their jobs if they left the ranch for a day. Both men are tired of working to harvest crops that they don't own for very little money, and are seduced by the idea of being their own bosses and owning the fruits of their own land. To finally have a place to call home is an especially tantalizing proposition. 

I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog.
Related Characters: Candy (speaker), George Milton
Related Symbols: Candy's Dog
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:
Overpowered by the collective agreement of the men that his dog needed to be shot, Candy reluctantly consents to letting Carlson shoot it outside. In this quote, Candy tells George that he regrets not shooting the dog himself. Of course, Candy would have never even thought to kill the dog due to old age if he hadn't been egged on by the other men. Candy reared the dog since it was a pup, and was very attached to it. He feels residual guilt for not killing the dog himself due to this attachment, even though he would never have had the courage to put a gun to the old dog's head. Much of this guilt and regret is related to the fact that Candy feels that he has little control over his life on the ranch. Due to his age and disability, he has no other job prospects, and worries that his employment will abruptly end one day when the boss decides he is a financial burden. Even though it would have been incredibly painful for him to kill his own dog, it would have at least given him a degree of control in his life. 
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Candy Character Timeline in Of Mice and Men

The timeline below shows where the character Candy appears in Of Mice and Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...old man with no right hand and a crippled dog greets them. His name is Candy. He says the boss was angry when they didn't show up last night. (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...if what he said was true. George says they were just lies, and notices that Candy has been listening to their conversation. He tells Candy to mind his own business. Candy... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...wears fancy boots, quickly starts picking on Lennie, who refuses to speak. After Curley leaves, Candy says Curley is a lightweight boxer and has a history of picking fights with men... (full context)
Women Theme Icon
Candy adds that Curley has only gotten worse since his recent marriage to a pretty "tart"... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
When Candy leaves, George tells Lennie to stay away from Curley. Fighting with Curley, he warns, will... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...had to drown four because there wasn't enough food for them all. Carlson proposes shooting Candy's crippled dog and replacing it with one of the puppies. Lennie wonders if he can... (full context)
Part 3
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...coat. George orders him to return the puppy to its litter. While Lennie is gone, Candy and his crippled dog enter the bunkhouse, followed by Carlson. Carlson again suggests they put... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...a letter to the editor from a ranch hand they once knew. Meanwhile, Carlson persuades Candy to let him shoot the dog. He takes the dog outside. As the men play... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...Having overheard George's description of the farm as a place where they can just "belong," Candy offers his life savings of $350 to help them buy it. Though George is at... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
As the other men return, George warns Lennie and Candy to keep the farm a secret. Candy whispers back that he should have shot his... (full context)
Part 4
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
Candy wanders in. When Crooks again says they'll never own a farm, Candy replies that they... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Candy tells her to leave. If she fires them, he says, they'll just buy their own... (full context)
Part 5
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Candy enters and finds Curley's wife's body. He runs and gets George, and the two of... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Fearing Curley will think he had something to do with the murder, George tells Candy to pretend George never saw the body. George leaves. Candy curses at Curley's wife's body.... (full context)