Chapters 3 & 4

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  • Chapter 3 Symbol
  • Candy's dog symbolizes how Candy and the rest of the ranch fear becoming useless. Like everyone, he worries about how he will be disposed of when he gets too old, but how he will just be tossed away instead of shot. The dog also represents the men's feelings towards things after they become 'useless'. Once something becomes obsolete they spare no hesitation in disposing of it, as that is simply the way of the ranch; in the hands on environment it is every man for himself.
  • Chapter 3 Theme
  • George and Slim's friendship shows a clear representation of what George and Lennie's friendship could be like, if Lennie could reciprocate normal thoughts and compassion. George's friendship with Slim helps contrast a healthy two sided relationship where both benefit from and console each other, to his parent-child relationship with Lennie. Where George is constantly caring for Lennie, Slim is listening to George's problems, and giving advice. Lennie needs George to survive, but when George is with Slim he is relaxed and has no big responsibilities.
  • Chapter 3 Character
  • Curley is the son of the ranch's boss. He is described as "a thin young man with a brown face, with brown eyes and a head of tightly curled hair" and "like the boss, he wore high heeled boots". He is said to be "handy" and quite the fighter, and his wife is a city girl who doesn't like him, and is described as a "bitch' and a "tart". Curley is "calculating and pugnacious", he frequently tries to pick fights with larger men, and hates big guys because "he's alla time picking scraps with big guys. Kind of like he's mad at 'em because he ain't a big guy".
  • Chapter 4 Symbol
  • Crook's room is a symbol of how Lennie doesn't understand the boundaries of right and wrong. It doesn't make sense to him that he's not supposed to be in a black man's room, and is not in tune with the societal norms. Lennie doesn't understand that due to Crooks skin colour he is separated from the other men, and that his room is therefore essentially off limits, and when Lennie is asked to leave the space he remains, which shows how he will do whatever he wants if it isn't causing any physical harm. This represents Lennie's lack of comprehension toward what is accepted and 'normal'.
  • Chapter 4 Theme
  • Crooks makes Lennie fear that George isn't going to return, sending him into a panic. This shows how Lennie fears George's abandonment and understands that he does in fact, need George. Lennie can easily be persuaded to believe anything, but the fact that he can doubt their friendship shows how he doesn't fully trust any individual over another. Crooks also views friendship differently that most, which is due to his lack of any companionship, and although he at first states he doesn't want anyone there, he grows to enjoy the company, and describes how lonely he has been in life.
  • Chapter 4 Character
  • Candy is "a tall, stoop-shouldered old man … . He was dressed in blue jeans and carried a big push-broom in his left hand." His right hand is simply a stump because he lost his hand in a ranch accident. Now the owners of the ranch keep him on as long as he can "swamp" out or clean the bunkhouse. Candy's dog was killed due to his age, and since that incident Candy fears that he too will eventually be thrown out. When Lennie and George reveal their dream of their own farm, Candy is excited and quickly asks to join, seeing the opportunity as a safe haven where he can escape from his declining future, and where he can live out the rest of his days in peace.
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