Candy is an old man who has suffered the loss of his hand. He has an affectionate attachment to his dog, the relationship that symbolises George and Lennie’s friendship on the ranch. To Candy, his dog is his companion, keeping him from loneliness that the others suffer from. When Carlson shoots his dog, Candy loses this comfort and searches for something else. He fears that he will be thrown out onto the street when he can’t swamp anymore, and so he joins George and Lennie in their fantasy. However with the money Candy has, the dream starts to become a reality.
This makes Candy’s suffering worse when Lennie is killed. “You an’ me can get that little place, can’t we, George? ” He suffers from fear at what might happen to him and where he can go. Without the reassurance of his dog, or of George and Lennie, he is trapped in loneliness and his dream is shattered. Curley is the villainous character of the ranch. He is always causing trouble and experiences little suffering of his own. We do not see any display of emotions from Curley that might point towards remorse or shared suffering; instead he is cruel to all.
He loses his wife and his hand, but treats these losses as weapons to be used against Lennie rather than suffering himself. “I’m gonna shoot the guts outta that big bastard myself, even if I only got one hand. ” Curley’s character is centred on himself, his pride and his manhood. The only black person on the ranch, Crooks, is racially discriminated against. This is obvious when even Curley’s Wife attacks him using her superior status as a white woman. “Well, you keep your place then, Nigger” He has a crippled back which causes him continual pain and he is used as a punch bag if the white men are angry.
For these reasons he suffers physical hurt, but this is not his only form of suffering. He lives in enforced solitude because of the colour of his skin, and has a room to himself but this is not what he wants. He craves human attention; a companion to talk to or just to sit with and his loneliness has driven him to the point of madness, where he has even begun to hallucinate. “Maybe if he sees somethin’, he don’t know whether it’s right or not. ” This he confides to Lennie when he discovers that Lennie doesn’t really understand what is said to him.
Crooks is unfairly victimised and suffers because of it, but he is also the cause of suffering for Lennie, when he cruelly says that George won’t come back. Steinbeck shows us the desperation Crooks has because of his level of suffering, which makes him torment Lennie. Curley’s Wife is the sole female character in the book, excluding Lennie’s Aunt Clara, and she is desperately lonely. She longs for attention, which is lacking from her husband Curley, and she searches for this in the other men on the ranch.
She suffers rejection when the men tell her to leave and she feels wrongly judged by the people on the ranch. “Ain’t I got a right to talk to nobody? ” Curley mistreats her in his act to show off his manhood and she continually searches for the comfort that is denied her. Curley’s Wife suffers because of Curley, who cuts her off from anyone else. She also suffers because Curley uses her and doesn’t really love her. Her loneliness drives her to talk to anyone who will listen, and those who won’t, but she doesn’t truly speak to anyone until she catches Lennie in the barn.
There, she confides in Lennie all of her suffering. “If I’d went, I wouldn’t be livin’ like this, you bet. ” She has suffered through her lost dream, where she wanted to be in the pictures but her mother stopped her from going. Then, her hopes were raised by a man who said he would take her to Hollywood, only to be dashed when he didn’t write, and so she suffered the feeling of loss and then lashed out by marrying Curley and leaving her mother. “Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes…
” Curley’s Wife also suffers by being a possession of Curley, as her title suggests. She will never, and has never, had her own identity and when she is killed by Lennie, she dies without a name. Steinbeck manages to use human suffering to give the reader an informed insight into ranch life. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.