Cannery Row is about a neighborhood in Monterey Bay, California, during the aftermath of the depression. The neighborhood is built around a sardine company, but the main characters don’t have much dealing with the workers there. The neighborhood consists of a general store owned by Lee Chong; a whore house called “Bear Flag Restaurant”, owned by Dora; a group of bums that live in the Palace Flophouse; and Doc’s Laboratory. It narrates their experiences and how they survive during a short course of time.
John Steinbeck shows this era of the depression in a positive perspective rather than a negative one like it was frequently perceived. He shows the humor in all situations and veers away from pessimism. Steinbeck showed people’s place in society, how they depended on one another, and the exuberance of a community. He also let the reader see the loneliness of an individual and their acceptance of life.
The story’s setting had a huge relevance to John Steinbeck’s life. He grew up in Monterey Bay, California, during the depression. Although the characters in the book are fictional, their personalities are based off of real life people that Steinbeck encountered. The book was written after the depression, so it is more of a realistic approach to the actual life of people in that time. The over all conflict was people’s survival during the depression. It had many minor conflicts as well. One was when Mack and the boys threw a party for Doc and it all went wrong. Another one was the outbreak of the flu.Order now
The book had a resolution…somewhat. It ended when Doc finally got a party and nothing went wrong. The thing is, that Doc ended up throwing the party for himself, so everything ended up like it was before and how it had always been. Doc had helped everyone in the community as usual. It leaves the reader with the impression that things will go on and everyone and everything will be all right.
Cannery Row was published in 1945 and has lived on for over 50 years. The themes represented by this book have relevance to today’s society and probably will have pertinence to the world in later years. The author, John Steinbeck, won the Nobel Prize for Literature because of this novel. The book was appropriate for it’s audience and purpose because so many people could relate to it, so Cannery Row truly deserves it’s classical status.