Cannery Row Essay

Cannery Row Essay

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The minor characters in John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row are a contradiction within themselves. Steinbeck shows two conflicting sides to each character; for example, Mack is smart and lazy and some of his colleagues are both good and bad. Doc is a father figure with some bad habits. Dora Flood is a kind-hearted saint who happens to run a brothel. Lee Chong is a shrewd businessman who likes to take advantage of others. Henri is an artist with a French background even though he isn’t from France. Through his characters, Steinbeck shows that humans are complicated and can have many faces.
Mack and his Boys are a group of down-and-out but always devious men who live together in the run-down fishmeal shack, owned by Lee Chong, which they call the Palace Flophouse and Grill. Mack is their ringleader, a smart, charismatic man who can charm anyone into anything; as one of the boys says, Mack could be president of the United States if he wanted to be, but he wouldn't want to do anything like that, being of course that it wasn't fun. Mack's attempts to do things the easy way and to his advantage often get him into trouble. Eddie, another of the boys, is a substitute bartender at La Ida, the local bar. He brings home stolen bottles and a jug filled with remnants from customers' drinks; this makes him immeasurably popular all around. Hazel is perhaps the hardest working of the boys: He often accompanies Doc on collecting trips. Ironically, though, the narrative claims he was too lazy ...

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