Friday, April 12, 2019
The Theme of Poverty in Cannery Row Essay Example for Free
The Theme of Poverty in Cannery actors line EssayPoverty is an important theme in John Steinbecks Cannery Row. Set in the 1920s during the Great Depression, meagreness is an overarching aspect of life in the down-and-out confederation of Cannery Row. A background knowledge for the book, Cannery Row is a place where poverty affects every whizz and everything. In spite of ever-present poverty, the people of Cannery Row deal do with what little they submit. This brief essay will discuss the role that poverty plays in Cannery Row and conclude with important lessons John Steinbeck offers regarding poverty and human nature. Cannery Row is a rundown coastal community in California, beset by poverty and decay. Accordingly its inhabitants argon, as the man once said, whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches, by which he meant Everybody. (Steinbeck 1) Described as a foul-smelling strip of land opposite the sardine fishery, the inhabitants of Cannery Row kick in do with what litt le they have and work unitedly, despite their impoverished existence.Although the characters of Cannery Row may not have material possessions, they work together and live in relative harmony. The neighborhood grocer, Lee Chong, is relatively rich when comp atomic number 18d to the other characters in Cannery Row, and he extends credit to the people of this rundown community, understanding that they do not evermore have the means to always pay for their purchases.Although not obvious at first sight, Lee Chong is a generous man and over the course of the years everyoneowed him specie. He never pressed his clients. (Steinbeck 3) Despite the poverty of Cannery Row, Lee extends credit to all. Accordingly, No one is really sure whether Lee ever receives any of the money he is owed or if his wealth consisted entirely of unpaid debts, but he lives comfortably and does legitimate trading in the Row (Steinbeck 43). He doesnt hassle his debtors and is content to sit back and wait for paym ent. His benignity even extends to helping Mack and the boys fund a home.Mack and the boys are bums homeless men without wives, families or jobs. Despite their position as outcasts and social undesirables, Mack and his boys are content with their social situation and are not angry about their impoverished lives. In fact, their total lack of financial resources does not seize their ability to plan something nice for their friend Doc or enthusiastically set up cuckold in Lee Chongs storage shed, ironically renamed The Palace Flophouse and Grill.Mack is a well(p) man at heart and his intentions are generally good but he also attached to lying, stealing and deceiving. An important example of this is when Mack and the boys discover that their new car does not have a proper license plate, they hung a rag permanently and accidentally on the rear plate to hide out its vintage and also dabbed the front plate with good, thick mud in an effort to deceive the trusting police (J.C.R. 526) Vice and poverty also seem to go hand-in-hand in Cannery Row. Prostitution is presented in the unexampled as being situated around the Bear Flag, the neighborhood brothel where prostitution reigns supreme. Doras girls, as they are affectionately called, work in a business which is universally described as diabolic and where they would generally be perceived as social outcasts. Despite their current position in life, they, along with Dora, are important members of the Cannery Row community and step into to act as nursemaids and feed members of the neighborhood when infirmity strikes. The people of Cannery Row work together when the going gets tough, as shown when Phyllis Mae and Doras other prostitutes band together during the influenza epidemic.Steinbeck leaves us with some important lessons, particularly with regards to wealth and human nature. Despite the fact that the characters are unrefined, perceived of as outcasts and they exist in desperate poverty, the people of Cannery Row work to help one another.Camaraderie is an important theme established by Steinbeck. Even if their plans do not actually chance and they do not have all the money in the world to carry out their highfaluting projects, the people of Cannery Row try to help each other and are motivated by purity and not greed. They may not have a lot but they make do with what they have. Although materially quite poor, the residents of Cannery Row share a common humanity and a richness which cannot be bought. workings CitedCamp, C. L. Reviewed work Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. California Folklore Quarterly. 4 2 (Apr., 1945) 203-204.C. R. Review. The Kenyon Review. 73 (Summer, 1945) 526-527.Levant, Howard. Tortilla monotonic The Shape of John Steinbecks Career. PMLA, 855 (Oct., 1970) 1087-1095.Steinbeck, John. Cannery Row. New York Penguin, 1993.