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Quotes

Quote #7

Mack had him. Lee was indebted to Doc—deeply indebted. What Lee was having trouble comprehending was how his indebtedness to Doc made it necessary that he give credit to Mack (20.12)

It's starting to become clear that Doc is the foundation of this whole system of debt and credit. But is there anyone that Doc is in debt to? Well, not exactly. He even funds his own party. But in some way, isn't he grateful to the people of Cannery Row for their friendship?

Quote #8

Also being illegal Dora must be especially philanthropic. Everyone puts the bite on her. If the police give a dance for their pension fund and everyone else gives a dollar, Dora has to give fifty dollars. [ . . . ] Dora's unsung, unpublicized, shameless dirty wages of sin lead the list of donations (3.3)

Talk about indebtedness: if Dora's brothel went out of business, it looks like the cops wouldn't have a pension. Dora's illegal business just might be one of the things keeping Monterey afloat.

Quote #9

Canned peaches were sky high, eight frogs for a No. 2 can. Lee had a stranglehold on the consumers. He was pretty sure that the Thrift Market or Holman's would not approve of this new monetary system. [ . . . ] The poison of greed was already creeping into the innocent and laudable merchandising agreement. Bitterness was piling up. But in Lee's packing case the frogs were piling up too (20.18)

This scene is kind of a low point for Lee Chong, because he's taking advantage of Mack and the boys, who don't have much more than a few frogs to their names. Greediness is going to upset the balance of debt—until Chong forgives the entire balance.

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