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What Methods Does Steinbeck Use in This Passage to Present Candy?

  • Date Submitted: 01/05/2014 12:33 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 66.7 
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a)   What methods does Steinbeck use in this passage to present candy?

Steinbeck presents candy as very judgemental. “I think Curley’s married a.... tart.” This shows that Candy doesn’t know Curley’s wife that much and is just coming to a conclusion that she’s a ‘tart’ when she could be the complete opposite. Candy repeats “I seen her give slim the eye twice” to George. Steinbeck deliberately uses repetition to indicate to the readers that candy is someone who likes to gossip with people in the ranch as it is his only form of entertainment. Steinbeck chose candy to repeat those particular words because perhaps candy wanted to get a certain reaction from George and also candy could have also wanted to emphasize his dislike for Curley’s wife. Moreover Candy may have repeated his words to perhaps show how happy and excited he is to share his gossip as he has no one else to talk to. This could also imply that candy’s opinions are usually ignored and not accepted among the ranch men showing the readers he has a low status among the ranch and can be quite lonely.
B) How do you think Steinbeck uses the character of candy in the novel as a whole to convey important ideas about society at that time?
Candy is ‘a tall, stoop-shouldered old man. He was dressed in blue jeans’, the uniform of the ranch workers, ‘and carried a big push-broom in his left hand.’ His right hand is stated as 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 gives Steinbeck an opportunity to discuss social discrimination based on age and disabled people during the time of the Great Depression. Candy represents what happens to everyone who gets old in American society: They are let go, canned, and thrown out of their jobs were they expected to look after themselves. Candy shows this by presenting his greatest fear as that once he is no longer able to help with the cleaning he will be...

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