The Perfect Society In John Steinbeck's Cannery Row

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In the story Cannery Row by John Steinbeck, the author describes a place in Monterey called Cannery Row. Cannery Row is seen to Steinbeck as a ‘perfect society’, a utopia if you will. He looks upon the citizens of Cannery Row differently than the average person, yet also all the while the exact same way. In fact, Steinbeck's view on the rather “undesirable” citizens of Cannery Row highly differs from that of society; even going as far as to label them as an essential to the populace. These lesser-people would be better known as Mack and the boys, whom are based off of some of society’s stereotypical groups. Through multiple examples Steinbeck reveals various similarities and differences between his view of the people of Connery Street and…show more content…
Throughout the entirety of Cannery Row, Mack is viewed as a vagrant con artist with justified intentions. He also has problems with lying and swindling but most often always feels guilty for doing so. Mack is similar to a common day stereotype of homeless in a sense that he smooth talks his way into getting what he wants and will most like always waste any money earned on small luxuries. He is also similar to society’s view due to his lack of a home or necessary supplies to survive. It is because of this that Mack, as well as real world ‘bums’ resort to theft and swindling. In the book, Steinbeck refers to Mack and the boys as beauties and virtues since that is the way that he personally views them. It is most likely that Mack and the boys are referred to in this way because of their somewhat generous nature. This is similar to society’s stereotypes because many do in fact view the homeless as kind, otherwise nobody would give them any money or food. They are also similar in the way that both Mack and the boys and the homeless in general most often swindle whenever they have the chance, but they are also open to helping the other person rather than just taking and not giving back or being thankful. Overall, Mack and the boys hold many similarities to the common day stereotypes pf thieves and con artists’.
In conclusion, John Steinbeck’s characters of Mack and the boys hold various similarities and differences to their stereotypical counterparts. Mack and the boys are similar in a way to the average person by the way they act in the story. They also are different due to the way that Mack and the boys are described by Steinbeck versus

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