by John Steinbeck
Cannery Row Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
The doctors of Monterey [ . . . ] were running crazy [during the influenza epidemic]. They had more business than they could do among clients who if they didn't pay their bills, at least had the money to pay them. [ . . . ] The medical profession was very busy, and besides, Cannery Row was not considered a very good financial risk (16.3)
What could be further from Doc and Lee Chong's view of "financial risk"? Monterey is "wealthier" than Cannery Row in one sense, but poorer in another. The narrator doesn't explicitly pass judgment, but these doctors don't seem like very good guys, do they? We wouldn't want to show up to their emergency room without our health insurance card, is all we're saying.
Doc turned away. "You take the bounty," he said. "I don't want it." He started toward the car. Only the tiniest piping of the flute sounded in his head (18.24)
Doc could probably use the money from the bounty, so we're really wondering why he didn't take it? Maybe it would ruin the mood—Doc did seem pretty taken with the girl.
Everyone in town was more or less affected by the skater. Trade fell off out of sight of him and got better the nearer you came to Holman's. Mack and the boys went up and looked for a moment and then went back to the Palace. They couldn't see that it made much sense.
We have no idea what it is about the skater that makes people want to open their wallets, but whatever it is, it's significant. And Mack and the boys are immune to it. They're not interested in making money or spending it on anything but whiskey and groceries, so obviously they're not interested in some guy skating around a flagpole, either.