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    My exam board is WJEC. Any rough mark out of 20 would be great. Candy represents the inevitable fate of itinerant workers in 1930’s America due to his old age: he is a marginalised character due to his old age. He is almost a warning to the other men that they will become him if they continue to live this transient lifestyle. Candy has passed his usefulness on the ranch which exacerbates the fear that he will become useless and “canned” without family and without friends. Steinbeck uses Candy in this microcosm of a ranch to reflect the treatment of old people in the wider 1930’s American society. As a more permanent member of the ranch, he remembers all the men that have past through and informs George and Lennie about other characters so in some ways he fulfils the purpose of the Greek chorus. Candy is a bit of a gossip and enjoys the chance to reminisce with George as like many old itinerant workers at the time, he feels his opinion is no longer valued.
    Candy is particularly vulnerable when Carlson argues to have his dog shot. This is because he is being forced to give up his only true companion. His weakness is shown in his body language during the argument and later he does not have the power to argue against Carlson as he is lower down on the hierarchy in terms of power. Their relationship represents the idea that in a 1930’s society, when something is no longer useful, it is simply discarded. Candy’s life appears to be a void of loneliness that he can never escape particularly after losing his only friend.
    Candy’s desperation for another life is clear when George recounts the dream “live off the fatta the lan”. He tries to sell his skills to George and offers him all his money which suggests desperation for some quality of life. He also confides in George which shows he now feels close to these men which only makes it more tragic when the dream is taken away from him at the end of the novella. To candy the dream represents freedom from the constraints of his life and freedom from his fears. Candy is happy to sacrifice his money for security and an escape just like many other old itinerant workers at the time.
    Candy is transformed by thee dream “he went on excitedly”. He becomes much more confident and hopeful that his life will change and he can finally be happy. This shows the transformative power of the dream. The fact that even crooks is susceptible to the idea of the dream shows that in a 1930’s society, all itinerant workers were looking for an escape from their transient lifestyle. This, of course, makes the destruction of the dream and therefore Candy’s loss of power and hope even more upsetting at the end of the novel.
    His life is a void of loneliness that he will never be able to escape and the dream only sets him up for his disappointment and misery. He is also referred to as “old” at particular times throughout the novella to make him seem more vulnerable-particularly at the end of the novel where he is called “weak” to emphasise that the loss of the dream can break someone. This reminds the reader that old itinerant workers in 1930’s America were powerless to change their fate.
    • TSR Community Team

    TSR Community Team
    Heya, I'm going to put this in the English forum for you as you should get more responses there.

    You should also check out the forum to see if there's any other threads there which might be helpful to you!


    Really goo sara. I would add more quotes in to back up your points and pick key moments of Curley, eg him standing up to Curley's wife and his sexist view on her if your struggling for points x
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Updated: May 14, 2015


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