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Quotes

Quote #4

Then cannery whistles scream and all over town men and women scramble into their clothes and come running down to the Row to work (0.2)

So Cannery Row is the spot where the jobs are, but workers don't seem to think they need to actually live there. Why? Well, it might be convenient—but we bet it doesn't smell too nice. So, why do the people on Cannery Row live there? And where do they go to make a living?

Quote #5

They come running to clean and cut and pack and cook and can the fish. The whole street rumbles and groans and screams and rattles while the silver rivers of fish pour in and out of the boats and the boats rise higher and higher in the water until they are empty (0.2)

It's madness when the sardine boats come in. Notice that Steinbeck keeps using "and" to give us an inkling of all the fuss. It's like he doesn't even have time to divide things into separate sentences, just like the people don't have time to stop and even breathe while they're dealing with the influx of fish. We're caught up in it too, reading faster and faster without any pesky punctuation to tell us to take a break.

Quote #6

[After the canning] Cannery Row becomes itself again—quiet and magical. Its normal life returns (0.2)

For Steinbeck, Cannery Row's magic seems to have something to do with how calm it normally is. So when the canneries are active, the magic's gone.

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