Was It Right To Shoot Candy’s Dog
It is in the second chapter that it is first brought up about Candy’s dog being shot. It is Carson that initiates the argument. His first reason for killing Candy’s dog was that it smelt saying “it stinks like hell” and “I can smell that dog a mile away. ” He then backed this up by saying “got no teeth, damn near blind, can’t eat. ” Although Carlson says there are other things in favour of Candy’s dog being killed you get the impression that his main reason was that the dog smelt and he wanted it out of the way.
One of the ways this is given away is that there is repetition of Carlson complaining about the smell of the dog and the exaggeration of saying “I can smell him for two or three days. ” This was very selfish of him but did recognise that Candy would miss his dog so Carlson suggested to Slim that he “give him one of those pups to raise up” because Slims dog had just had some pups and he didn’t want all of them. The conversation is dropped when they go to lunch and wasn’t mentioned again until part of the way into chapter three.
This is where there are arguments for and against killing the dog and the persuasion and peer pressure on Candy to let them kill his dog begins. It is again Carlson that begins the persuasion to kill the dog and again his first reason is that it smelt saying “God almighty that dog stinks. ” Candy doesn’t think anything of it to begin with and just apologises saying he didn’t notice it because he’d “been around him so long. ” This is an argument not to kill the dog because Candy is so attached to it although Candy doesn’t realise that they are going to go on and persuade him to let them kill his dog.
He probably takes it light hearted to begin with because it is likely to have happened before and nothing had ever come of it. Carlson though pursues with another comment about the smell of the dog saying “that stink hangs around even after he’s gone. ” He then lists a couple of reasons to kill the dog, which are “got no teeth,” “stiff with rheumatism” and “he ain’t no good to you Candy” before actually putting the question “why’n’t you shoot him, Candy? ” to Candy. It hits Candy hard because he doesn’t expect it.
He tries to get them off the subject by telling them about their past times which is also used as an argument against killing his dog. He says, “I had him so long… since he was a pup. ” He is telling them how much he loves his dog and what they have been through together so they will have pity on the dog. This is when Carlson really starts to put pressure on Candy to let them kill his dog, coming up will many reasons why they should do it.
Most of these arguments are to make Candy feel bad for keeping the dog alive. He says “this ol’ dog jus suffers hisself,” “he don’t have no fun” and “you ain’t bein’ king to him keepin’ him alive. He tries to guilt him into it. Candy tries to resist by saying, “no, I couldn’t do that. I had him too long. ” It isn’t very forceful because he said it softly because they are all against him and are wearing him down. He needed help and “looked helplessly at Slim” he wanted Slim to stop them because “Slims opinions were law,” but he got no response and felt alone and isolated with nobody to turn to for support.
He then tries another angle which is about it hurting the dog but Carlson assures him that “he wouldn’t feel nothing. The intense atmosphere lifts for a moment when “a young labouring man” interrupted them. It doesn’t last long though because Carlson suddenly says “I’ll put that old devil out of his misery right now” like he doesn’t want the pressure to be lifted from Candy because at that time he had the upper hand so he suggests this while Candy is still vulnerable. Candy tries to put it off by saying, “you ain’t go no gun” and when that doesn’t work he says, “le’s wait till tomorra” hoping that by then they would have forgotten about it.
When this didn’t work Candy had no choice but to give in saying “awright – take ‘im,” Candy was so upset that he wouldn’t talk to them and just “lay back on his bunk…. and stared at the ceiling. ” Throughout the debate there were more arguments for killing Candy’s dog than against. They were also better reasons than against killing the dog because the main reason Candy used was that he had had his dog for so long, he had got used to him, although his reasons did carry a strong emotive argument.
It was almost inevitable that Candy would lose and his dog would have been killed. This is because Candy is an old man, on his own and was faced with a group of younger and stronger men with many reasons to kill his dog. They eventually wore him down because he needed someone to support him because he wasn’t strong enough on his own. By convincing Candy to let them kill his dog, Carlson and the other men made Candy like them; having no companion so he is lonely, isolated. In my opinion, I think it was right for his dog to be killed but Candy should have done it himself.
I think it was right for the dog because it was suffering due to its rheumatism. It was also nearly blind, it had no teeth so it couldn’t eat so there was nothing left for him. Keeping it alive any longer would have been cruel and if Candy had kept it alive because he wanted a companion that would have been selfish because of what the dog would have to go through. They put it out of its misery before it got too bad and the dog would have resented Candy for keeping it alive.