Steinbeck uses different methods in this passage to present Candy and convey different messages about his personality and status. One of the predominant methods used in the passage is the language techniques. Candy repeats "I seen her give Slim the eye" twice to George. Steinbeck deliberately used repetition in order to indicate to the readers that Candy is someone who likes to gossip as it is his only form of entertainment; it also shows that Candy is a very observant person. Steinbeck chose for Candy to repeat those particular words because he wanted Candy to indicate his dislike for Curley's wife and give the reader a bad impression of her from the start. Also, Candy may have repeated his words to show how happy and excited he is to share his gossip, as he has no one else to talk to. This implies that Candy's opinions are usually ignored by other ranch men, clearly showing the readers he has a low status on the ranch and is often lonely.
There are a variety of adjectives used in the passage such as "reassured" and "safe" in order to describe Candy's feelings. The fact that Candy feels "safe" around George implies that he is perhaps hesitant to talk to other ranch men as they usually disrespect him and don't listen to his opinions, it also reinforces the point that Candy is observant and perceptive, as he can see that George is a good person who will not discriminate against him, so he feels safe enough to share his opinions.
Also, Steinbeck describes Candy as speaking "more confidently" to George, which implies that he is usually quite shy and closed off from the other ranch men as they don't value his opinions due to his low status within the ranch from being both old and disabled. Steinbeck wants the readers to feel some sympathy towards him, as they can tell he is a lonely and shy character.
Steinbeck also uses symbolism in this passage to show the similarities between Candy and his dog. Candy's dog is described as "ancient" and "painful". Steinbeck purposefully chose an aging dog to symbolise Candy, in order to show the readers that he is old, weak and often in pain. I also think Steinbeck decided to link Candy and his dog together to show the parallels between their relationship and George and Lennie’s. George looks after his weaker companion as does Candy with his dog and both relationships end in a tragic death. Furthermore, I think the word "painful" further reinforces the point about Steinbeck wanting to create sympathy for Candy and to show how hard life could be for ranch men during the 1930s.
Also, at the very end of the passage, Candy is described as stepping "out the door into the brilliant sunshine". Steinbeck was possibly using the sunshine to symbolise Candy’s feelings. The fact that George has actually listened to Candy has made Candy happy and given him a sense of worth, hence there is "brilliant sunshine" as he steps out of the room.
Candy is used by Steinbeck as a medium to discuss social discrimination based on age and ability during the time of the Great Depression. Candy represents what happens to everyone who gets old in 1930’s American society, they are ignored as they are not productive. Candy shows this by presenting his greatest fear as being that once he is no longer able to help with the cleaning and being a “swamper”, he will be disposed of. Just like his old dog, he has lived beyond his usefulness. Candy’s dog is a representation of the fate that awaits anyone who outlives their usefulness in that harsh society. Though the pet was once a great sheepdog, it was eventually killed once it stopped being productive. Candy realizes that his fate is to be fired as soon as he’s no longer useful on the ranch and he won’t be treated any differently than his dog. In 1930’s America there was no welfare system for the older generation, or in fact anyone, meaning Candy would have no support if he were to be ‘put out to pasture’ like his dog. This puts…