Comparing The Dream In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Ever since Carlson shoots Candy’s ancient dog, Candy lives in gnawing fear for his own usefulness on the ranch. Candy exemplifies the fear of insecurity, yet George and Lennie’s dream manages to extricate him from his distress. Despite a stub for a hand and old age as his fetters, sharing George and Lennie’s dream enables Candy to surmount his fears. Through this interaction, Steinback reveals how dreams empower people to escape their insecurities. Candy grabs onto the dream so tightly because it gives him a glimpse of his life without fear; a life with security. When Candy first encounters the dream, he undergoes a huge transition from a lifeless character recoiling from the death of his dog to that of a youthful, eager child with “his eyes… wide open56” and his voice full of excitement. In fact, Candy…show more content…
Previously, Candy was too afraid to save his dog. He meekly “looks for help from face to face 45” and ultimately cannot change or delay the death sentence. “But a change came over old Candy.79” With dream in mind, Candy asserts himself even when Curley’s wife threatens his job and calls him “a lousy ‘ol sheep78”. In fact, Candy explicitly states that “Maybe there was a time when we was scared of getting’ canned, but we ain’t no more79”. Candy is now the “master of the situation 79” and can completely ignore all insecurities. Unfortunately, while dreams provide power, a lack thereof amplifies weaknesses and shortcomings. After Curley’s wife dies, Candy realizes the risk to his dream and his security such that he prioritizes the dream far beyond Lennie’s safety. He even pleads with George to sustain it. When he ultimately learns the dream is beyond recovery, Candy also pales away. He “lies down in the hay and covers his eye with his arm98”, a reminder of the lifeless, broken figure he was after his dog’s death. The dream is gone, and with it, Candy’s fuel and source of
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