Why Does Steinbeck Use Death In Cannery Row Essay

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1. When Doc discovers a deceased young girl (101) floating gently beneath the ocean when he is out collecting, how does he react? What does his reaction say about his character? Why didn’t he take the reward that he could have received for reporting the girl as dead, even though he didn’t have a lot of money? 2. How does Steinbeck use death in Cannery Row; does he treat it with respect, flippancy, or a mix of both? How does he use death in Cannery Row to ultimately expound on the fragility of life? 3. Steinbeck portrays social ostracism happening to four characters - William, Frankie, Doc, and Mack - at different points in the novel; how does William and Frankie’s endings differ from Doc and Mack’s? Why do they differ? What is Steinbeck trying to say about personal choice in the midst of uncomfortable circumstances? 4. How does Steinbeck portray truth and lies in Cannery Row? Nearly every character is hiding some…show more content…
Cannery Row, like Of Mice and Men is a good example of slice of life literature, defined as “literature [that] is realistic writing that offers a realistic portrayal of life” (Flanagan 1). Even more so than the characters found in The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, the characters found in Cannery Row strike readers with a startling realness. Like Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row is about connections. Both books are “evocative, beautifully rendered portraits of ‘outsiders’ struggling to understand their own unique places in the world” (Stephan 1). But unlike Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row shows a community dynamic verses the dynamic of select individuals or a small group. In Cannery Row, the environment of the Row is shaped just as much by the characters inhabiting it as the characters are shaped by the
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