Animals In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Most people love animals because they provide companionship, friendship, and love. The animals in Of Mice and Men, symbolize positive/negative events to come and the relationships between characters. Furthermore, one of the main characters is often depicted as having animalistic tendencies. In the real world, people have many goals as well as fears, and in Of Mice and Men, these ambitions and concerns that many of us have are often embodied through animals. Throughout Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck uses different animals to portray the characters’ attributes, and to foreshadow their fears and dreams that we all have. Steinbeck often portrays Lennie as an animal or a pet rather than a normal human due to his large stature and lead-footed movements and actions. At the beginning of the novel, when…show more content…
When Candy talks to the other workers about how his dog needs to be killed since it is no longer useful, the novel states: “The old man squirmed uncomfortably. ‘Well-hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. I herded sheep with him’ He said proudly, ‘You wouldn't think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen’ (Steinbeck 56). Candy’s dog represents Candy’s fear about his job on the farm. His dog was once a great sheepdog much like Candy was once a good worker; both of them were useful on the ranch. The dog is now old and unable to work similarly to Candy who is now debilitated because of his age and disability. Many people have the fear of eventually becoming unfit and replaced by someone or something better. Candy fears that his dog being killed is foreshadowing that the same will happen to him. The representation of a fear can come in many forms, and Steinbeck uses animals to portray that in Of Mice and Men. The relationship between Candy and his dog is an example of the fears we all have in life with something we are close
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