The Theme Of Community In Cannery Row By John Steinbeck

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Throughout the novel of Cannery Row written by John Steinbeck, the theme of community becomes prevalent in the little town of Cannery Row. The book takes place in coastal California during depression era. Each individual character faces many challenges, some which were the result of the depression, others are personal fears that consume the character. The community as a whole learns to accept one another’s peculiarities and relies greatly on one another. Friendships in Cannery Row are essential for the survival of the residence especially concerning Steinbeck’s main character Doc. Doc, is loved and respected by the entire town but yet appears to be depressed throughout most of the novel. He is described to be a complicated yet simple man. …show more content…
In Cannery Row however, Doc says that he appreciates and almost envies the men for living their lives the way they do. For example he states that they are the true philosophers, Doc says that the boys have the knowledge of everything that has and that will happen in the word and survive better because of it (Steinbeck 141). Survival is everything to Mac and the boys and unlike other trapped men they do not place much emphasis on material needs. Mac and the boys are men who have found that escape from the unwanted pains that come from being confined into a marriage. Steinbeck illustrates this when he says that “they are the Virtues, the Graces, the Beauties of the hurried mangled craziness of Monterey and the cosmic Monterey where men in fear and hunger destroy their stomachs in the fight to secure certain food, where men hungering for love destroy everything lovable about them”(Steinbeck 413). Steinbeck goes on to describe how the boys avoid being trapped and just go on to live their lives for themselves even if people do not understand them. Although they do not do much to help themselves live a more luxuries lifestyle, they have this need to plan a party for Doc to show how much they appreciate him. Thomas Berndt, a professor of Psychological Sciences writes in his article that “boys express their intimacy in nonverbal ways” (Berndt 1). Although the boys consider themselves to be outcasts, they still seek help several members of the community to help show Doc how well appreciated and valued he is and the only way they know how is by throwing him a party. Since everyone in the town has an intimate relationship and feels indebted to Doc no one

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