Cannery Row Essay

1685 words - 7 pages

Cannery Row John Steinbeck is one of the best authors of the twentieth century. With books like Of Mice and Men and The Pearl, Steinbeck does a wonderful job of always entertaining readers while still making people think. He often uses poor people, who have some kind of interesting story to tell, as the main characters in his books. Cannery Row is no exception. The setting of the book Cannery Row is just that, on Cannery Row. As far as the plot goes, it seems as though Cannery Row is the plot in itself. Meaning this. While there are many character stories in Cannery Row, John Steinbeck does not really focus on one particular character. He talks about the lives of many people who live on Cannery Row. The plot, or plots, of this book is/are the lives of many different people who live there. There are too many characters in Cannery Row to even name. And many of them have no greater importance than any other. However, there are a few who do a great job of symbolizing important types of people. Doc, a marine biologist, is one of those characters. Doc's purpose in the book is to symbolize hope. In the beginning of the book, Doc is said to be a very lonely man. It seemed as though his only purpose in life was to be a single man who did his work that needed to be done, and settle for just that. Things would later change for Doc. He fell in love. Doc is a perfect example that good things can come to anyone. Lee Chong, the owner of the grocery store on Cannery Row, seems to symbolize a Baptist, or something close to that. Lee's store is said to have everything any man could ever want or need to be happy. This shows that no matter what people need or want, they can always go back to him to get or restock on whatever it is. Similar to when people want to be reborn, or Rogers 2 start again, they go to a Baptist and get baptized. Lee also allows a couple of men to live in a place he owns for practically nothing. . Another man who symbolizes an important part of life is Horace Abbeville. Horace symbolizes the hate for yourself, which leads to death. Everyone who ever possesses a life experiences what Horace felt. He didn't enjoy his life. The only difference between Horace and many people that live is that Horace hated his life so much that he ended it, which of course does happen way too much today. Horace is simply an example of a person who can't stand living, and therefore ends his life. Dora Flood, a fifty year old woman character in Cannery Row is in the book to symbolize the type of person who people judge by the outside, and not the inside. Dora is the owner of a whore house. She is also a very large woman with bright orange hair who doesn't have the greatest taste in style. However, she is a very honest lady who will not even allow loud or vulgar talk in her house, which is called the Bear Flag Restaurant. She is also very willing to do whatever she needs to keep her house up in running. This shows...

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