Explore the way Steinbeck presents Candy in Of Mice and Men. Do you always think Steinbeck is sympathetic?
In my essay I will analyse and explore the way Steinbeck presents candy in the novella. I will also analyse whether Steinbeck presents Candy sympathetically or not.
We are introduced to Candy on page 19.Initially Candy enters the novella described as a ‘stoop shouldered old man’ making us as the reader question why is such a old man working on a ranch?. ‘Stoop shouldered’ becomes synonymous with weak and often helpless beings which could come to the conclusion of readers that Candy is a pathetic character. It becomes certain that Steinbeck sympathises with Candy been such a minor figure on the farm. Candy begins to question Lennie and George, announcing ‘The boss was expectin’ you last night…he was a sore as hell when you wasn’t here’ Steinbeck emphasises Candy’s disability ‘He pointed his right arm and out came a round stick like wrist’. He is a useless character often looked down upon by many of the other workers. His disability restricts him from doing many things other workers can. We as readers will initially show feelings of sympathy towards candy. This links to the theme of the ‘American Dream’ which generally did not become anything more than a dream for many men. There was a constant hierarchy in America. Steinbeck portrays Candy and the other workers at the very bottom.
Further on in the novella Candy’s personality begins to blossom we read that ‘Curley’s like a lot of little guys he hates big guys’. Although opinionated this could be brought upon by us as the readers as ‘gossip’