Row: Respect Is Important In John Steinbeck's Cannery Row

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Faysal Chandoo Ms. Hoelle English 101 12 December 2017 Cannery Row: Respect is Important Cannery Row is densely populated with a group of characters, in the narrative sense of the word and in terms of personalities. There is Dora, an imposing figure of a woman who runs a successful brothel, Henri, the non-French Frenchman, Lee Chong the shrewd but kind-hearted grocer, Doc the scientist, Mack, who leads a small group of men and is loved by the people of Cannery Row, and a host of other fascinating people who make Cannery Row so compelling. It may not seem obvious when reading John Steinbeck’s novel “Cannery Row,” but the main point or lesson in the novel is the importance of respect and Steinbeck uses his characters to tell this story about…show more content…
Respect was important for all the citizens of Cannery Row whether it was a showing of respect or a lack thereof. Respect could make or break the citizens of Cannery Row. An example of that would-be William, the previous watchman for Dora’s Bear Flag. William always wanted to be part of Mack’s group and tried to act as if he was part of it but was denied. He even brought booze for all of them to drink, which they did, but William soon realized after that they just didn’t like him.William realized that the tight society of Cannery Row rejects him and laughs at him. William had no friends and no respect from others, so he thought that suicide was his only way out. As a result of having no respect from anyone, William ended his own life. William was a casualty of the importance of respect. He didn’t earn the respect of others, even though it may not have been completely his fault. As Suzanne Kane said in her article “The Importance of Respect,” “If we want the respect of others, there’s no other way around it than to begin by respecting others first. If we act in selfish, self-centered ways, concerned only for our own wants and needs, others will likely steer clear of us.” “Men are respectable only as they respect.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American lecturer, essayist, poet, writer, and…show more content…
Doc is more than what he seems. For example, when the flu epidemic hit Cannery Row, Doc took in "patients" for help, even though he was not a certified doctor. This shows that Doc will go out of his way to help the people of Cannery Row at any cost. This also shows that Doc cares enough for the people of the town to exhaust himself helping their needs. Also, Doc's presence is so cherished by the people of Cannery Row that they decided to throw him two parties. This shows that even though he may seem like a drunken scientist at points, Doc is highly respected and loved by the people of Cannery Row. This also shows that Doc's actions eventually pay off for him, and he receives immense gratitude from the town. Doc, Dora, Lee Chong, and Mack and the boys all had one thing in common. They all were kind and respectful people who helped others. In return, people loved and/or respected them very much. When people are shown respect, they tend to be happy or feel like they fit in. These four characters were definitely accepted by society and beloved to the people of Cannery
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