The Californian Community In John Steinbeck's Cannery Row

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During the Great Depression, the United States was falling apart. There was no hiding it from other countries as they began cutting off trade with America in hopes of keeping their own economy working. John Steinbeck illustrates how the Depression affects the small, fictional, Californian community of Cannery Row through the minimalistic lives of a wide range of characters. Despite the fact that they are living in such a weakened time for America, a group of homeless men find their place in the community that seems to be unaffected by the recession. Mack and the boys spend their days catching frogs, drinking whisky, and planning parties for Doc, a lonely marine biologist who is able to help every soul but his own. Lee Chong, a successful grocer, manages to keep his store stocked with anything one may need. Dora keeps her Bear Flag Restaurant strictly in order while being a kind, light-hearted woman. Each of these characters contribute to the dysfunctional yet dignified tone of Cannery row that is mirrored by Keith Haring’s Untitled (1983) . Mack, Hazel, Gay, and Eddie live in a run-down fish food shack that Lee Chong owns. They are homeless with nearly no source of income, but they do not let that crush their spirits. While their lives have many problems, the men seem to push through it and maintain a…show more content…
Both pieces of art convey that it is important to have dignity in life to make the worst situations seem a little better. Mack and the boys, Lee Chong, and Dora provide this tone in Cannery Row while the colorful figures do so in Haring’s painting. The dysfunctional yet dignified tone reminds both readers and art viewers that even when things are not going the way they are planned, they can turn out better if you maintain the pride that you tried to get something done. If you keep a positive attitude, your life will mirror your
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