Mack And The Boys In John Steinbeck's Cannery Row

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Through the many stories in Cannery Row involving Mack and the boys, Steinbeck is able to portray Mack and the boys in different ways. Depending on the story and the reader’s interpretation, Mack and the boys can be viewed as a lazy or troublesome group of men or misunderstood misfits with good intentions. One can argue that Mack and the boys’ actions throughout Cannery Row are actions of those who are troublesome. Specifically at the start of Cannery Row, when readers are introduced to Mack. He comes into Lee Chong’s grocery store, and suddenly Lee Chong “stiffened” (9). Mack then tries to convince Lee Chong to let him and the boys move into the Abbeville place. Mack tries to charm Lee Chong into it by making it seem like Mack and his friends living there would be helping Lee Chong by having someone to keep the building safe. After much thought, Lee Chong does agree, but only because he figures that Mack and the boys will stop stealing from his grocery (11). It’s sad that Lee Chong justifies letting Mack and the boys stay in his building only because they won’t be robbing him anymores. Readers may be charmed by Mack at the beginning of Cannery Row, but his actions aren’t necessarily meant to be praised. Another…show more content…
Steinbeck writes about them in a way causing readers to like them, even just a little, regardless of their actions. Readers are prompted to look at Mack and the boys lives differently. Steinbeck presents them and their situations in a way that causes readers to consider other hidden variable and circumstances, instead of society’s usual way of jumping to conclusions. On the surface level, most of Mack and the boys’ actions would be unwanted and probably reprimanded by today’s society, but Steinbeck is urging readers to give people they would normally deem as lazy or troublesome the benefit of the
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