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Cannery Row

Cannery Row

by John Steinbeck

Foil

Character Role Analysis

Doc and Henri

Like with the Antagonist section, it's hard to find a pair of foils in Cannery Row because nobody acts like much of a jerk. We wanted to put Dora and Mack together as foils, since Dora is a good businesswoman and Mack couldn't hold onto a dollar if it were glued to his hand. But then we realized that, at bottom, they're both fundamentally good and generous.

Doc and Henri, however, are a potential set of foils. Not because Henri is a big meanie where Doc is good and kind, but rather because Doc's happy to have forty people hanging around his bedroom, while Henri lives in a place that's really only big enough for him. (See how authors can use location to tell us about character?) That means that Doc is wide open and social; Henri's an introverted loner.

On the other hand, neither one of them has a girlfriend that sticks around very long.


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