The One, The Only…. John Steinbeck. By: Caroline Larkin Mod 7/8. Thesis. How did John Steinbeck’s personal experiences and where he grew up affect his writing?
By: Caroline Larkin
John Steinbeck was an author from Salinus, California. Over his lifetime, he wrote 27 novels, three collections of short stories , and many essays and he received 17 total awards and honors before his death …. WOW! Steinbeck’s writing gave a voice to the voiceless lives that were often presumed meaningless.
One of the novels I chose to read was Cannery Row. Cannery Row is a sardine cannery in Monterey, California and many people lived and worked here in Steinbeck’s time. Cannery Row follows the life of different people and workers in Cannery Row- from the grocery store owner, Lee Chong, Mack and the Boys who live in a fish rack on the edge of town and are un-employed boys, Henry the painter, Dora Flood and the girls who live in her bar/house, and Doc, a young marine biologist. This novel follows their daily lives and hardships. Cannery Row is an area of people who don’t have a lot of money or who chose not to live in the area where people have a lot of money.
This book doesn’t really follow the Hero’s Journey structure- there isn’t much of a main plot, it’s mostly just different people’s lives and feelings, each individual person has their own climax and resolution, etc. However, the novel mostly focuses on Mack and the boys. They wanted to do something for Doc, who is a friend and caretaker to all. So, they try to throw him a party! They go to Doc’s lab/house to set up for the party one night when he was out collecting sea animals to sell. But, he stays out late and comes home to a trashed house. What happens then? Well, I guess you’ll just have to read and find out!
This is present day Cannery Row