We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust.
Chapters 1 - 4 Summary Cannery Row opens with a small set piece that functions almost like a landscape painting; the mood of the place is carefully described, most of the major characters are seen strolling across the screen, and the general tone of the story is set.
The introduction ends with a description of how Steinbeck has written this book: He has captured something not easily described in words by just "let[ting] the stories crawl in by themselves.
The grocery store is particularly important to the community as a place to buy cheap whiskey "Old Tennis Shoes".
One customer who found himself in such a situation was Horace Abbeville. Horace had two wives and six children and quite a debt. Lee Chong agreed and drew up the paperwork. Horace, now free of financial obligations, returned home and shot himself.
The fish-meal shack presented a problem to the grocer, however. He was pondering what to do with it when Mack, the leader of a small group of unemployed roustabouts, came to see him.
Mack proposed that Lee Chong let him and his friends live in the shack for a nominal rent.
Knowing that Mack and the boys will undoubtedly vandalize the shack if he refuses, Lee Chong agrees, even though he knows that he will never see a penny of rent. The arrangement works out well, as Mack and the boys provide protection for the grocery and even stop stealing from the store out of gratitude.
The old fish-meal shack has become known, sarcastically, as the Palace Flophouse and Grill. Mack and the boys spend most of their time stealing furnishings for their new home and painting them to disguise their origins. Mack and the boys also contemplate doing something nice for Doc, who runs the Western Biological Laboratory across the street.
Mack and the boys are held up as ideals: While they are not ambitious, they also avoid many of the anxieties of modern life and are able to live each day in peace and a kind of sensuous richness.
God must admire and protect people like Mack, the narrative claims. Dora, an enormous woman with orange hair and a taste for flamboyant clothes, runs an upstanding establishment.
She makes sure all of her girls are well-behaved and well cared for, and she maintains her position in the town through generous charitable contributions and careful behavior. The narrative digresses again to tell the story of William, the former bouncer at the Bear Flag.
William was never able to make friends and always thought that others saw him as a "dirty pimp. The bouncer now is Alfred, a popular fellow. The narrative interrupts itself once again to sketch another little picture.
This one describes an elderly "Chinaman" who walks through Cannery Row every day at dusk and again at dawn on his way to and from harvesting marine animals below the piers.
His sandals make a slapping noise as he walks; this sound alerts the locals to his passing.Major Characters. Doc. Based loosely on Steinbeck’s real life friend, Ed Ricketts, Doc is the primary figure of importance on Cannery Row.
Coastal Horizons books, beaches, and backroad adventures. Nature & Books belong to the eyes that see them. Gamache is a likeable character, reminding me a little bit of John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport (although, not quite the womanizer and much more well-read). Cannery Row by John Steinbeck The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora.
John Steinbeck I could give a little party, she insisted. Just a small affair. Nobody will dress. Cannery Row, one of the Steinbeck books that I got a hold of when just beginning to sprout my tendrils above the garden soil, The Pearl is a story made of delicate but solid granite timbers.
Each sentence holds the weight of the world in it. Cannery Row (John Steinbeck, ) Unburdened by the material necessities of the more fortunate, the denizens of Cannery Row discover rewards unknown in more traditional society.*. He loves Doc, though, and frequently tells him so.
Frankie is institutionalized after breaking in to a jewelry store to steal a gift for Doc.
Frankie can be compared to Benjy in Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury or to Lenny in Steinbeck's own Of Mice and Men.
Mack is the acknowledged leader of a group of bums who live at the Palace Flophouse and Grill. All we know about him before he moved to Cannery Row is that he had a wife, but things didn't work out.