Who is candy in of mice and men?
In the novel, Candy is an old handyman who lost his hand in a work accident. He is a man past his prime and physically handicapped, making him a poor fit for life on the ranch. As a result, the other workers ostracize him because he doesn't have much practical value to the operation.
Steinbeck's use of a disabled dog as a symbol for Candy is effective. The dog, once a great sheep herder, is toothless, foul-smelling, and brittle with age; it represents what happens to those who outlive their usefulness in the world of Steinbeck's characters. The characterization of the dog also supports the themes of loneliness and dehumanization in the text.
Despite his handicap, Candy tries to find meaning in his life through working with George and Lennie. He offers to leave them his share of the farm he hopes to buy someday, a gesture that shows how desperate he is to create new bonds and friendships.
His plight makes him an easily recognizable character to the readers, as is his desire to join George and Lennie's dream. The fact that he doesn't have family or other connections outside of the ranch further proves his desperation. He also reveals that he is the only one who has seen his injury, and that his "stick-like wrist" is his only remaining piece of himself. He is not the only one who feels this way; Crooks, the stable hand with a crooked spine, lives alone because of prejudice and a crooked back.