Bunk Moreland and Candy S Plight

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Steinbeck presents Candy as a character to be pitied in many ways: When Carlson demands that Candy removes the dog from the bunkhouse, this makes us pity Candy as he feels he has to apologise for the smell, even though he has “.. been around him so much” that he no longer notices “..how he stinks.” The old dog has been with Candy for a long time, it is his only companion and Candy ‘squirmed uncomfortably’ when Carlson told him to shoot the dog. This statement shows that it is hard for Candy to think about such a thing, and the way Steinbeck describes Candy’s movements makes the reader share his uneasiness. Candy speaks “softly”, as the dog is a sensitive topic to him. He doesn’t shout at the men for bringing up such a topic of killing his dog, so it seems that he is not completely against the idea. Candy’s dog parallels Candy’s plight. Though the pet was once “... the best damn sheep dog” as Candy states, it was put out once it stopped being productive. Candy realizes that his fate is to be put on the roadside as soon as he’s no longer useful; on the ranch, he won’t be treated any differently than his dog. Worse than the dog parallel, though, is that Candy (unlike his dog) is emotionally broken by this whole affair. He can’t bring himself to shoot his pet himself, and we suspect this is going to be the same fear that keeps him from making anything more of his life. Candy can’t stand up for his pet because Candy can’t stand up for himself. Candy speaks “softly”, as the dog is a sensitive topic to him. He doesn’t shout at the men for bringing up such a topic of killing his dog, so it seems that he is not completely against the idea. One point that makes the reader have sympathy for Candy is when Slim told him that he “.. whist some-one would shoot” him if he was “.. old an’ a cripple”. In the way that Slim compares the dog with a crippled version of himself, he also compares the dog to Candy, as old and of no use. We pity Candy at this point, as being compared to...
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