Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck : How does the killing of candy's dog relate to the killing of Lennie? What were the similarities between them? What was the reason for killing?

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The killing of Candy's dog was related to when George killed Lennie in several ways. First of all, both the dog and Lennie were weak, and killed as soon as they became useless to the society. Also, the dog was Candy's friend, and Lennie was George's friend. In both cases, Slim viewed the deaths as mercy killings. The last similarity was that both Candy and George felt lonely after the death of their companions. The difference was that Carlson killed the dog for selfish reasons, while George killed Lennie out of mercy. This was how the killing of the dog relates to the killing of Lennie.

The society wished both Lennie and the dog dead as soon as they were no longer useful to it. The dog was smelly and old, therefore it became unwanted by the society. Carlson said "God awmighty, that dog stinks. Get him outta here, Candy! I don't know nothing that stinks as bad as an old dog. You gotta get him out." (Pg. 45). This showed that even though he was probably aware of the fact that the dog was Candy's good friend, he did not care. He only cared about his own interests, which were to get rid of an old animal that was useless to him. This showed his self-centeredness, and since Carlson represented the society, it also showed how unwilling the society was to understand its own vice. Slim said "He's all stiff with rheumatism. He ain't no good to you, Candy. An' he ain't no good to himself. Why'n't you shoot him, Candy?" (Pg. 45). This displayed that Slim views this as a mercy killing. He wanted the dog dead for its own good, not to satisfy his selfish desires. Since Slim was the god-like character in the novel, he also conveyed the author's views on the subject. This showed that the author saw that killing the dog with mercy was a good thing. He also contrasted Slim wanting to kill the dog for mercy to Carslon killing the dog for selfish reasons. This showed that even though the society tended to cover up killing things as if they did it for mercy.

However in reality, usually society killed things for selfish reasons. The dog was important to Candy because he was old, weak and lonely. He was rejected by the society because he had a broken hand and this made him weak and useless to it. The dog was his best friend, and when it was killed he lost one of the most important things he had. He has known the dog for years, and possibly he could have associated it with good memories of the past. Also, he did not have much of a future to look forward to. Thus, the dog was basically all he had. In a way, the dog gave Candy a sense of hope. When Carlson proposed to kill the dog, Candy said "No. I couldn't do that. I had' em too long." (Pg. 45). This showed that Candy valued the dog a lot, and to take it away from him would ruin him.

Lennie was important to George because he gave him hope and responsibility. Numerous times George stated, "We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack jus' because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us." (Pg. 15). This meant that while the other ranch hands had nothing to look forward to, George and Lennie had a future planned. Also, George was responsible for Lennie. Since Lennie was unable to take care of himself, it was George's job to do so, but he was more careful with himself as a result of that. Instead of going to whorehouses and bars he saved their money for their dream, which was to "live off the fatta the lan', i.e. buy their own ranch. Lennie and George knew each other for a long time, just like Candy and his dog. This was enough time for them to develop trust. Lennie trusted George completely. This was shown when Crooks asked what would happen to him if George never came back and Lennie said, "He won't do it. George wouldn't do nothing like that. I been with George a long time. He'll come back tonight." (Pg. 71). Lennie was absolutely sure...
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