Explore The Way Sympathy Is Created For Candy In Chapters 1, 2 And 3 Of The Text

882 words - 4 pages

Candy’s physical appearance is used by Steinbeck as an insight into his character. On page 19-20, Candy is described as “a tall, stoop-shouldered old man”, which shows us that he used to be have power and respect as well as being a good worker however now he is ‘stoop-shouldered’ showing that he’s lost that everything including his dignity and confidence meaning he is now insecure. “He carried a big push-broom” indicate he is insecure about how others see him and he wants to look useful since he could be ‘canned’ at any time. This creates sympathy for Candy because being so insecure when before you were respected is a hard circumstance to be in.

In the 1930s, there was great discrimination against old age and disability which is a large part of Candy’s insecurity. Candy has a “round stick-like wrist but no hand”, this disability makes him less of an asset in the ranch and therefore he must prove his usefulness by carrying ‘a big push-broom’ otherwise he is likely to be sacked. Also, Steinbeck uses specific wording to insinuate certain things subtly. Candy has ‘no hand’ and the ranch workers are called ‘ranch hands’ showing he is less useful and is also not one of them.

Throughout the second and third chapters, Candy’s dog is used as a metaphor and a direct parallel for Candy himself. Candy's dog was a “good sheepdog when he was young” but now he is a far cry from his sheepherding days. It is also a reference to Candy’s position on the ranch as Candy who was more useful and necessary when he was younger and is now from his prime. Carlson says to Candy, in regard to the dog, that he "got no teeth, he's all stiff with rheumatism” which are both canine and human aspects of old age thus paralleling Candy who is becoming old and is likely to have these similar problems related to his age. Carlton also says “he ain't no good to you, Candy. An' he ain't no good to himself. Why'n't you shoot him, Candy?", reminding us of the way people at this time viewed the old and thus how they view Candy.

Steinbeck uses structure to emphasise ideas previously created within the story. Candy’s only companion has just been shot and we can see that Candy is distraught about this however in the succeeding paragraph we see George talking about his future with his companion and how he “an’ Lennie’s gonna roll up a stake” which is very effective as we are reminded of Candy’s loss again and become even more sympathetic....

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