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Cannery Row

Cannery Row


by John Steinbeck

Cannery Row Chapter 12 Summary

  • We pause in our tale of Mack and the boys to learn about the town of Monterey and its "long and brilliant literary tradition" (12.1).
  • To illustrate this, we get the story of the death of real-life comedy writer Josh Billings.
  • The townsfolk discover that the local doctor (who also embalms people) has been throwing guts into the gulch behind his office.
  • Everyone is shocked that a great literary man's guts were thrown out, so they make the doctor collect them, clean them and put them in a box with the rest of the body.
  • Because literary men deserve respect. And also because throwing human entrails into a ditch is just gross.

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