Of Mice and Men

Candy Character Analysis

Candy is an elderly “swamper” in charge of odd jobs around the ranch. He is missing a hand after losing it in an accident years ago, but remains employed in spite of his limited capabilities as a physical laborer. Candy is, at the start of the novella, deeply attached to a mangy, stinking, blind old dog which he’s raised from infancy into old age. Candy’s attachment to the dog and his unwillingness to accept that it needs to put down is a symbol of his own fears about aging out of his usefulness, his position on the ranch, and indeed his very life. When Candy overhears George and Lennie discussing their plans for the farm they hope to buy one day, he offers to give them a large sum of money he received as a settlement for his injury if they allow him to join them on the farm—they agree, and all three of them find their hopes bolstered for a few days as they consider a life of freedom and plenty. Ultimately, Candy is left alone and despondent on the ranch after the other laborers go off in search of Lennie, who has just killed Curley’s wife and run away. Candy must reckon with the fact that his dreams are never going to come true, and instead his very worst fears may be what come to fruition.

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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer 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:
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“Maybe it’d hurt him,” [Candy] suggested. “I don’t mind takin’ care of him.”

Carlson said, “The way I’d shoot him, he wouldn’t feel nothing. I’d put the gun right there.” He pointed with his toe. “Right back of the head. He wouldn’t even quiver.”

Related Characters: Candy (speaker), Carlson (speaker)
Related Symbols: Candy’s Dog
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“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
Related Symbols: George and Lennie’s Farm
Page Number: 60-61
Explanation and Analysis:
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“I oughtta of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't oughtta of let no stranger shoot my dog.”

Related Characters: Candy (speaker), George Milton
Related Symbols: Candy’s Dog
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:
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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
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
George and Lennie arrive at the ranch. An old man named Candy, who is missing a hand, shows them to their lodgings. The bunkhouse where all the... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
George spots a yellow can of insect poison above his allotted bunk and asks Candy whether the beds are full of lice. Candy insists that the last man who occupied... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Candy tells George and Lennie again how angry the boss was that they didn’t arrive in... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
George asks more about “what kind of a guy” the boss is. Candy insists he’s “pretty nice” except for when he’s angry, and once even brought the laborers... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
George goes to the front door and opens it—Candy is standing there with an old, blind, and lame sheepdog. George accuses Candy of eavesdropping.... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...glove on his left hand and is wearing high-heeled boots—just like the boss. He asks Candy if he has “seen [his] old man,” and Candy, addressing the man as Curley, says... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Candy tells the men that Curley is the boss’s son. Candy says that “like a lot... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
George and Candy sit down at the card table and begin shuffling up a deck. Candy secretively tells... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Candy stands up and says he’s got to ready the wash basins for the men coming... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...fear she wouldn’t be able to feed them all. Carlson says that Slim should do Candy a favor and shoot his lame, smelly old dog, then give him one of the... (full context)
Part 3
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Candy comes into the bunk house, his old dog trailing behind him. Carlson, another laborer, comes... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Slim offers to give Candy a new pup from his bitch’s litter if Candy shoots his old dog. Candy says... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...the ranch. Carlson refuses to be distracted by Whit’s remembrances of Tenner, and continues hounding Candy about putting down his dog. Carlson offers to shoot it with his Luger. Though Candy... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...talks about his mule, who’s in need of some tar on its hoof, and reminds Candy that he can have any puppy he wants. Candy does not reply. George asks if... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
...as he wants. Both Lennie and George are so lost in their reverie that when Candy speaks, they both jump. Candy asks if there really is a place like the one... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
George is skeptical of Candy’s offer, and says he’d always conceived of himself and Lennie working the farm on their... (full context)
Part 4
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Lennie says he’s all alone and wants company—everyone else except for Candy has gone into town, and Candy only wants to sit in his bunk and budget... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...the stable, and Crooks calls out to ask if Slim has come into the barn. Candy answers, saying he’s come looking for Lennie. Crooks tells Candy that Lennie is with him.... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Candy tells Lennie that he’s been doing some figuring and has found a way for them... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Candy says that he’s spent his whole life working other people’s land and harvesting other people’s... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...startles the men. It is Curley’s wife, asking if any of them have seen Curley. Candy tells her they haven’t seen him, but Curley’s wife doesn’t move from the doorway. She... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...says. She asks the men to tell her what really happened to Curley’s hand, but Candy insists Curley simply got it caught in the machine. Curley’s wife laments her horrible circumstances,... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...talks coarsely to her once more, she will have him “strung up on a tree.” Candy warns Curley’s wife that if she does anything to get Crooks hurt, they’ll tell on... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Candy warns Curley’s wife that the men will be back soon and urges her to get... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Crooks, clearly shaken by Curley’s wife’s words, tells Lennie and Candy that they should go. Candy tries to comfort Crooks, but Crooks plainly states that what... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
As Candy stands up to go back to the bunk house, too, Crooks asks him to stay... (full context)
Part 5
Male Friendship Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Candy comes into the barn looking for Lennie, excited to tell him more about some of... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Candy and George stare in horror at Curley’s wife’s dead body. Both of them realize that... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Candy asks George if they’ll still be able to get their “little place.” George admits that... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Candy says he can’t believe Lennie would do something so violent. George insists Lennie didn’t do... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
George tells Candy that they need to devise a plan to keep George from looking suspicious. He says... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Alone with Curley’s wife’s corpse, Candy curses the “lousy tart” for messing everything up for him. After lamenting aloud all that... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Slim tells Candy to stay with Curley’s wife, and Candy agrees to do so. All the other men,... (full context)