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Cannery Row by John Steinbeck - Essay Example

A number of sardine fisheries line the sides of Cannery Row, thus giving it its name. Thus, it has a great deal to do with tide pools because the theme of the street and the reason for its name has been set on the story of the sea. The story is about five characters living together along the street, during one of the hardest times in history; they are forced to battle out their financial and economical woes due to the depression and try to, through different plots, live together and survive in their own ways. In this way, the story has been broadly described as a tide pool because the characters are like a number of different kinds of fish living together in an aquarium. John Steinbeck writes, “Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses.” (Steinbeck, John)

The story is beautiful, and both tragic and mysterious and the way it has been portrayed. It is easy for a reader to look at the messed up lives of the people in the story and feel a sense of humour at the same time while trying to connect with them as fish belonging to a certain wing of a tide pool or an aquarium. The main attempt of this story, according to the author, has been to capture the essence of the Cannery district in Monterey Row in the city of California. The main plot revolves around how Mack and his boys try and get hold of a rundown fishmeal shack and try and convert it into a habitual place to live in. They have feelings for their friends and family and thus want to throw a party for Doc, their friend and make him feel better. The reference of a tide pool has been provided as the story takes a slight turn in the first few chapters and the party leads to a mess in the Doc’s house. This causes a certain amount of trouble and thus leads to ill will and bad luck falling on all the people living in the Row. Following this, the people also fall sick due to an epidemic of the flu, and with these changes, the luck begins to worsen. However, soon enough, the inhabitants also see a change in the kind of luck they have been going through. Doc tries to make the people feel better by helping to cure Mack and his boys, and with time, as they feel well, they throw another party for him, this time well in control. Everything ends well, with all the people feeling good about them. This story thus, is a reflection of how camaraderie and contentment resumes and pauses in a person’s life with respect to the people around him or her. It is a very philosophically adept piece of writing with a vast amount of references towards tide pools. These descriptions throughout the pages of the book talk about how human nature is very similar to animal nature surrounding the waters of the oceans. Humans are just a different species of animals in their raw sense, and they try and fight and combat the implications that fall upon their lives. Every person tries his best to try and understand the consequences that they might have to undergo and from the outside, just like in the story with Doc, every human being is simply something that can be studied and investigated, just like the Doc studies species and investigates them. Thus, Steinbeck has tried to mention through this book, how life is supposed to be examined, however close scrutiny ends up hurting people. Life should thus be ...Show more


John Stienbeck, the author of Cannery Row has been regarded and very well received for this particular novel, and the novel itself has also been adapted into a stage play as well as a film soon after its publication. …
Author : kozeymartin
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
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