Cannery Row

Cannery Row
Overview
Main Characters
Themes
The seaside cannery community in Monterey, alifornia, is inhabited by bums, prostitutes, and businesspeople. Mack and the boys overcome many obstacles to throw a party for everyone's favorite resident, Doc, the local marine biologist and sage.
Doc
The tide pool.
Gopher
Lee Chong's Truck
The tide pool symbolizes the community of Cannery Row, teeming with life.
The gopher represents the false belief that hard work and ambition lead to success.
Lee Chong's truck represents not only transportation, but opportunity.
Educated, cultured pillar of the community; spends his days collecting specimens and enjoying life
Mack
Shiftless but resourceful bum skilled at manipulating people; content doing as little as possible to get what he needs
Lee Chong
Astute, savvy Chinese grocer experienced in judging people and business deals; generous member of the community
Ambition
Ambition most often leads to dissatisfaction and damage.
Isolation
Isolation creates loneliness—and sometimes despair.
Truth
Society supposedly values truth but often dislikes it.
Author
JOHN STEINBECK 1902-68
Steinbeck writes nostalgically of the people and places of his childhood in Monterey, California. After witnessing the horrors of World War II, he created Cannery Row as a comedy with shades of the Great Depression and a main character inspired by his best friend, marine biologist Ed Ricketts.
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