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Cannery Row: The Realistic Utopia Essay

  • Submitted by: TheChase
  • on November 7, 2010
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,194 words

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Below is an essay on "Cannery Row: The Realistic Utopia" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Cannery Row: The Realistic Utopian Society

Cannery Row was writen by famous author, John Steinbeck. It was one of his later books and is often noted for having a much lighter tone than his other famous works, ex. Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath. In Cannery Row Steinbeck takes one a more whimsical, and even more philosophical tone with the story. In Cannery Row, through the plot and style of writing, Steinbeck trys to show the world his ideals of a so called “realistic utopia” by expressing his beliefs of mankind and their inner workings, expressing the darker sides of the town to question this “utopia”, and describing bits and pieces of the town seemingly irreverent to the plot to keep the image of the town unartificial.
Steinbeck’s analysis of this realistic utopian society is very subtle. He is constantly making different conundrums in the human character then seeing if a particular personality will work well with society. For example: The whore woman, Dora,   with a heart of gold. Now and days when the word whore comes to mind, we do not instantly think of her personality or personal values. We only can think of the acts she preforms on a regular basis. Steinbeck is saying “What if that wasn’t so? What if, in a perfect society. whores, and everyone at that matter, were respected”. Dora is described as “....madam and girl for fifty years, has through the exercise of special gifts of tact and honesty, charity and a certain realism, made herself respected by the intelligent, the learned, and the kind.” (9 ) showing that she is in fact a human being with strong values, rather then just your common whore. Another example of this personality conundrum is Mr. Cho, the Grocer. Mr. Cho is one of the wealthiest men in cannery row. A very tough and extraordinary businessman who is owed money by everyone but nevertheless shows extreme generosity and compassion when it comes to loans. Steinbeck writes   “Not that Lee Chong was avaricious. He wasn’t, but if one...

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