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A Man´S World In Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck

1093 words - 5 pages

As Mark Twain once stated, “The more I know about people, the better I like my dog.” This sentiment is often echoed by general society; people seem to have lost faith in humanity. However, John Steinbeck illustrates his more optimistic opinion about “the perfectibility of man” by suggesting how man can improve. In his novel, Of Mice and Men, two tenants called George and Lennie go through many hardships all while chasing their dream of possessing their own farm. While they work at a farm, they meet an old swamper called Candy who offers to help them achieve their dream; he does so to ensure that he will have a future after he is fired for being too old. On page 60, Candy discusses the recent death of his dog and asks to join in on George and Lennie’s dream. Through this passage, Steinbeck proves that humans have an animalistic tendency of eliminating those who are weaker than them. This is depicted through the details connecting Candy to his dog as well as Candy’s diction when describing his potential future life. Steinbeck’s negative attitude towards man’s predatory nature implies that society needs to improve and prevent such oppressive behavior from occurring.
Steinbeck connects Candy with his dog in order to suggest that humans have created a society where the weak cannot survive. Earlier in the book, Candy describes his dog as the “best damn sheep dog I ever seen” (Steinbeck 44). However, in lines 9 and 10, Candy reiterates that the other workers shot his dog because “he wasn’t no good to himself nor nobody else.” As soon as the dog outgrows its usefulness by becoming old and blind, the other tenants team up to ensure its death, suggesting how society joins together to dispose of those who are weak. Steinbeck then connects Candy closely to his dog. In the animal kingdom, animals only have their instincts and cannot control them. Thus, it is natural for the strong to want to eliminate the weak because they want to ensure their own survival. By connecting Candy with his dog, Steinbeck points out that humans and animals are not all that different when it comes to this instinct. Like his dog, Candy is growing old and “got hurt four years ago” (line 3). His disability and old age make him weak. Candy mentions that he will be discarded as soon as he is not useful anymore when he states that “They’ll can me …as soon as I can’t swamp out no bunk houses” (lines 4-5). This suggests that as soon as a man has become too weak or useless, society will dispose of him and leave him to a fate similar to Candy’s dog. For instance, Candy will “have no place to go,” because society will not allow him to maintain a future (line 13). In fact, Candy’s predicament is even worse than that of his dog. His dog is completely oblivious to his ultimate demise until he is already dead. However, as this passage shows, Candy is fully aware that he has no future to look forward to and only a life of regret to remember, making the entire process even more unbearable. As a...

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