How the Characters React Towards the Shooting of Candy's Og

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The way the characters react towards the shooting of Candy’s dog reveals a lot abut the characters that we might not have expected. Carlson offers to shoot the old dog, complaining many times of the smell. The shooting of Candy's dog shows the callousness of Carlson and the reality of old age and infirmity. Carlson typifies the men George describes as “the loneliest guys in the world”. He is outwardly friendly, but essentially selfish. He finds the smell of an old dog offensive so the dog must be shot. He shows very little regard to the dog’s owner, Candy. He relentlessly pursues the dog’s death, more for his own comfort than to put the dog out of its misery. However, Steinbeck does show some sympathy in Carlson, when he suggests “he won’t even feel it”, referring to Candy’s dogs death. This is contrasted to Candy’s procrastination to put this event off when he says “maybe tomorra, Le’s wait till tomorra” Steinbeck displays that Candy is trying to delay the put down of his dog and his reluctance to end his dogs life shows how much he loves the animal. “Carlson had refused to be drawn in” this suggest that Carlson is determined and not to be put off. When Carlson brutally keeps after candy, candy’s reaction is described in the adverbs Steinbeck has used: “uneasily,” “hopefully,” “hopelessly,” and the way candy reacts: “Candy looked for help from face to face.” When he reaches out to Slim for help, even Slim says it would be better to put the dog down. Slim is portrayed as serene and a good listener/observer in this novel, and when Steinbeck suggests “the skinner had been studying the old dog with his calm eyes” – referring to Slim, it suggests that he had been very thoughtful about the whole incident and even showed his understanding and considerateness when he reminded Carlson to take a shovel, so Candy will be spared the glimpse of the corpse. “I wisht somebody’d shoot me if I get an’ a cripple” are the words Slim uses that Candy later echoes when he considers...
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