In John Steinbecks classic novel Of Mice and Men, Candy lives his life as a lonely man because of him being an old, crippled rancher. After suffering through a great amount of ridicule, Candy, finds himself sad and alone from the other men. Candy deals with a heartbreaking death and cannot work with the other men because he has lost his hand. There are many factors that contribute to Candys constant feeling of loneliness.
Candy has had his dog for as long as he can remember. His dog provides him with a companion and Candy loves this dog with his whole heart. The smelly, old dog bothers the other ranchers. Without worrying of his feelings his fellow ranchers yell at Candy for the smell, which brings him further away from them. The men cannot stand the odor and laziness of the dog and do not care whether Candy will experience loneliness or not if his animal is killed. After Carlson says he must get rid of the dog Candy tries to argue to save his dogs life by stating, No, I couldnt do that. I had im too long (Steinbeck 45). Since Candy has no power in the house, his arguments mean nothing to the others. Candy ends up letting Carlson shoot his dog causing him to become further isolated from the ranchers. After the dog expires, Candy feels that he should have taken responsibility and put his own dog to sleep. He realizes an empty feeling of loneliness when his dog is no longer with him, while regretting allowing a stranger to take the life of his own beloved dog. This feeling stays with Candy as his hopes of living with Lennie and George slip away.
Throughout the novel, George and Lennie reassure Candy that when they receive enough money they will leave the ranch and buy a place of their own. Candy is longing for the opportunity to not be alone any longer. Because of his loneliness, Candy, will do anything to live with Lennie and George. He starts convincing George and Lennie to allow him to stay with them by saying he will help them with the money to buy their own house. Candy says, Spose I went in with you guys. Thas three hudred an fufty bucks Id put in (Steinbeck 59). Candy offers a large amount of money to begin life with George and Lennie because he is so desperate to not be an old lonely man. He also offers to work in the kitchen and the garden just so he can spend life with them. Candy will do anything to leave the lonely ranch and enjoy life with George and Lennie. As the story goes on George ends up killing Lennie. This ruins all hopes of Candy ever living with them in their own house. George had to take Lennies life, but he also took all of Candys dreams of not being isolated from humans any longer.
Along with being rejected from George and Lennie, Candy had many physical problems that affected his social well being. Candy lost one of his hands and cannot do the work that the other ranchers do. Candy says, I got hurt four years agoJus as soon as I cant swamp out no bunk houses theyll put me on the county (Steinbeck 60). The ranch has no use for Candy other then the tiny sweeping jobs. The ranchers go out to the field and do work with their hands while Candy stays inside and sweeps. While working on the ranch the men form special bonds with eachother. Candy, who sweeps by himself, cannot have these friendships with the other men because he does not spend time with them. He is all alone with a job for only one. Although the boss was nice enough to let him keep his job, Candy still suffers because of his lack of friends. For fun the men play horseshoes, but Candy is not involved with this game. Candy continues the lonesome feeling because all of the men play together while Candy sits alone. He remains a social outcast and does not fit in with the other men on the ranch.
Loneliness plays a big role in the life of Candy. Not having anyone to turn to greatly affects the way he lives. The devastation and isolation that Candy went through in his daily life caused him the never ending feeling of being lonesome. He went through life with no one to talk to and alone.