Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men

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  • Dreams and Motivation
  • When George and Lennie first come to the ranch, Candy greets them and takes them to the boss.
  • ""The boss was expectin' you last night,' the old man said...He pointed with his right arm, and out of the sleeve came a round stick-like wrist, but no hand." (18) "Old Candy, the swamper, came in and went to his bunk, and behind him struggled his old dog" (43).
  • When he loses his dog however, Candy starts to question his worth.
  • "At last Carlson said, 'If you want I'll put the old devil out of his misery right now and get it over with' (47)". "They'll can me purty soon. Jus' as soon as I can't swamp out no bunk houses they'll put me on the county" (60).
  • In the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the author examines how when one develops a dream, that dream becomes their motivation and gives their life a new purpose.
  • It's when Candy hears of Lennie and George's dream, he begins to find a new hope.
  • "'Well, it's ten acres...Got a little win'mill. Got a little shack on it, an' a chicken run. Got a kitchen, orchard, cherries, apples, peaches...They's a place for alfalfa and plenty water to flood it'(57)".
  • Candy is introduced as an old man with a stub of a right hand, the first man George and Lennie meet when they come to the ranch. Candy has an old dog that follows him everywhere. 
  • When Crooks tries to shoot his new dream down, Crooks doesn't hesitate to defend it.
  • "'Jesus, I seen it happen too many times. I seen too many guys with land in their head. They never get none under their hand'(76).
  • When Carlson kills Candy's dog, Candy becomes depressed and realizes that his old age may have him fired soon for uselessness. He begins to realize that his disability and age make him of little use just as his dog was.
  • When everyone finds out about Lennie killing Curley's wife, Candy mourns not only for the coming loss of Lennie as a friend, but also for the potential diminishing of his dream.
  • " And when they were gone, Candy squatted down in the hay and watched the face of Curley's wife. 'Poor bastard,' he said softly (98)." "Old Candy lay down in the hay and covered his eyes with his arm (98)."
  • Hearing Lennie and George's dream however excites Candy, and he realizes he might be able to achieve something more than living and working on the ranch until he gets fired or passes away.
  • "'S'pose I went in with you guys. Tha's three hundred an' fifty bucks I'd put in. I ain't much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and how the gardens some. How'd that be?'(59)".
  • When Crooks attempt to insult the dream, Candy is quick to retaliate defensively and emotionally. The dream is so consuming that he seeks out Lennie in Crooks's room, a place he's never been in, just to talk about it. His motivation to brag make others believe in it is so he himself can in turn believe in it's success even more.
  • "'But we gonna do it now, and don't make no mistake about that...That money's in the bank. Me an' Lennie an' George,. We gonna have a room to ourself...We're gonna have green corn and maybe a cow or a goat'(76)".
  • Candy covering "his eyes with his arm" (98) signifies him losing all that hope he built up. After the men leave to hunt down Lennie, Candy is left alone with the corpse of Curley's wife as a symbol of how his dreams might be at an end. Lennie's death is a large piece missing for both George and Candy for the dream, and it's reality begins to fade to Candy's horror. This dream motivated Candy to earn money and work, and gave him a new purpose in life.
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