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Cannery Row

Cannery Row


by John Steinbeck

Cannery Row Man and the Natural World Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

Hazel fed the fire and put a little room of light on the beach. Over the hill a fox was barking sharply. And now in the night the smell of sage came down from the hills. The water chuckled on the stones where it went out of the deep pool. [...]

A man dark and large stalked near and he had a shotgun over his arm. [...]

"What the hell are you doing here?" he asked (13.38-13.40)

Holy contrast, Batman! Everything's going great—the water is even chuckling—until that guy with the shotgun shows up. We love how Steinbeck uses that little metaphor about the water to tell us what's going on emotionally before the Captain arrives. That's a little pathetic fallacy to tell you how Mack and the boys are feeling, too.

Quote #8

All the articles of [Doc's] trade were filed away on the coast, sea cradles here, octopi here, tube worms in another place, sea pansies in another. He knew where to get them but he could not go for them exactly when he wanted. For Nature locked up the items and only released them occasionally (17.2)

Metaphor alert: Nature as a kind of annoying filing cabinet. What's neat here is that Doc's relationship with nature seems a little bit like Lee Chong's relationship with his grocery store. Doc sells anything living, while Lee Chong's store is also a "miracle of supply" (1.1).

Quote #9

[Doc] didn't need a clock. He had been working in a tidal pattern so long that he could feel a tide change in his sleep (18.3)

Yeah, and he can collect 200 baby octopi before breakfast! Oh wait, he can. Talk about the relationship between man and the natural world—Doc is practically not even human anymore.

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