Morality in Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

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In society, people value morality as a human quality. People learn their values from when they are young from various sources. However, who is to say what is necessarily right and wrong? Values and morality can have different meanings, especially if placed in the context of a distorted materialistic society. In Cannery Row, John Steinbeck reminds people about this important theme and how it applies on a bigger scale. The setting of the story is Cannery Row, located in Monterey, California. Steinbeck's choice of setting is significant in that it fully captures the breadth of humanity. On the one hand, it is an area that represents the thriving sardine industry. On the other, it is also an area where the lower classes, including bums and whores could live. In actuality, the story is not really about the sardine industry at all, but is rather a collection of short stories that are all unified about the same theme, the quality and meaning of life. The main plot of this novel is centered on Doc, a marine biologist. It begins when Mack and the boys, Lee Chong, and Dora throw a surprise party for him to show their appreciation and great reverence towards him. By writing about the warm relationships between Doc and the inhabitants of Cannery Row, Steinbeck uses these short stories as his way of talking about life on a bigger scale. In essence, Cannery Row is John Steinbeck's personal philosophy on human importance, his take on what humans should be like, and his

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