Candy in Of Mice and Men

Topics: Old age, Ageism, Ageing Pages: 2 (799 words) Published: October 20, 2013
Candy’s name has many connotations and many of which gives us an insight to the inequalities against old people in American society. Candy on the very simple and literal level means “sweet and pleasing” and shows that Candy is a very sweet, nice old man. Another connotation that springs to mind is that Candy, the old swamper, is a very friendly, honest and open man with whom you can talk about everything. This is underlined by his name: "candid" means "not hiding one′s thoughts, frank and honest". But Candy’s name has also an even deeper meaning or connotation which highlights an inequality in society in that his name- Candy- is a metaphor as much like his name, candy or sweets have a sell-by date. This portrays that in American society all workers are expendable or indispensable and after a given time they are rendered as useless. The killing of Candy’s dog is a key metaphor in the book as Candy the old handyman, aging and left with only one hand as the result of an accident, worries that the boss will soon declare him useless and demand that he leave the ranch.  Even though we learn that Candy’s dog was once an impressive sheep herder, past accomplishments and current emotional ties matter little, as Carlson makes clear when he insists that Candy let him put the dog out of its misery, we see this in the line: “He ain’t no good to you...why’n’t you shoot him Candy?” Candy’s dog serves as a harsh reminder in American society of the fate that awaits anyone who outlives their usefulness. This situation also portrays an inequality in society in that society views on their age and incapabilities rather than their values and past achievements. Steinbeck throughout the novel uses Candy to portray to the reader the inequality of ageism in American in society in 1920. Through his descriptions of Candy's working and living conditions, Steinbeck highlights the frequent use of discrimination and ageism. Candy is an "old swamper", who lives in a "bunkhouse". His possessions...
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