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Cannery Row

Cannery Row

by John Steinbeck

Cannery Row Chapter 23 Summary

  • After the Doc's party fiasco, Mack and the boys are outcasts.
  • On the Fourth of July, Doc and Richard Frost are sitting in the lab drinking beer. Doc sees Mack and the boys outside the Palace and starts talking about how Mack and the boys are great philosophers and how, when the parade goes by, they probably won't even turn to look at it, since they already know what they'd see. Why waste the energy?
  • Doc and Richard Frost place a wager on whether Mack and the boys will turn around.
  • Turns out, Mack and the boys are just miserable—maybe they didn't turn around because they were depressed. Since Mack and the boys became outcasts, everyone on Cannery Row has been having bad luck. Even Mack's dog is sick.
  • Gee, it's almost like everyone's connected. But then Doc comes over to help out the dog, and she starts to get better.
  • Somehow, this stops the streak of bad luck and things look up for everyone.
  • Mack and the boys decide to throw Doc a party he can actually go to.

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