Cannery Row Essay

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Cannery Row is a novel that is set in Monterrey, California during the Great Depression. The story revolves around a town that is populated by social misfits who manage to survive by their wits. The four main characters of Cannery Row are: Lee Chong, the local grocer, Dora Flood, owner of the local whore house, Doc, a marine biologist, and Mack, the leader of a group of bums. Each of these protagonists have unique ways of achieving success. Lee Chong, a middle-aged Chinese man, achieves success by owning and operating "Lee Chong's Heavenly Flower Grocery", the neighborhood grocery store. From this business, Lee Chong maintains a steady income, by his ability to haggle and deal; he is willing to engage in almost any transaction, as long as it's profitable and risk- free. "...he [Lee Chong] lives comfortably and does legitimate business in the Row." Dora Flood, achieves success through her restaurant/whorehouse, the Bear Flag Restaurant. She is a heavyset woman with bright orange hair and overly flamboyant clothes. Although, in our modern world, Dora's business would be frowned upon, she exudes morality in all her practices, she: doesn't sell hard liquor, keeps an honest price on all of the services, and doesn't allow profanity or vulgarity to be spoken there. In addition, Dora has to be a very charitable person. Due to the fact that she runs an illegal practice and is always in danger of being shut down by the authorities, she has to be twice as philanthropic as anyone else. For example, when the general donation for a policeman's ball is a dollar, Dora is forced to give $50. Mack and the boys, achieve success by doing odd-jobs here and there. The groups' leader, Mack is a witty, charismatic man who is capable of charming anyone to do anything. "Mack could be president of the United States if he wanted to be, but he wouldn't want to do anything like that that

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