Of Mice and Men

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Candy's Dog Symbol Analysis

Candy's Dog Symbol Icon
Candy's once powerful sheepdog is now old and useless. Carlson's killing of the dog makes it clear that during the Depression only the strong survive. The way in which Carlson kills the dog—with a gunshot to the back of the head—foreshadows Lennie's death and likens Lennie to Candy's dog: they're both powerless, innocent, and doomed.
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Candy's Dog Symbol Timeline in Of Mice and Men

The timeline below shows where the symbol Candy's Dog 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
...next morning. At the bunkhouse, an 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... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Carlson, another ranch hand, introduces himself to George and Lennie, then asks Slim about his dog. Slim says she gave birth to nine puppies, but that he had to drown four... (full context)
Part 3
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...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 the dog out of... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...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 cards, a shot fires. Candy stares... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...to keep the farm a secret. Candy whispers back that he should have shot his dog himself. (full context)