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John  Steinbeck
約翰‧史坦貝克
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主要文類:Novella and Short story
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I. John Steinbeck’s Life 約翰‧史坦貝克生平

John Ernst Steinbeck

約翰‧歐內斯特‧史坦貝克

 

 

 

19631211日德國,法蘭克福:約翰史坦貝克和他的太太,伊蓮娜(Elaine)在法蘭克福機場休息。他們正準備要結束兩個月的歐洲之行並前往紐約。

Schuppe, Joe. “Photo of the Day: John Steinbeck”. Stripes Archives. Web. December 10, 2003. <http://ww2.stripes.com/photoday/index.php?photo=121003photoday.html>

 

 

 

John Steinbeck receiving the Nobel Prize in 1962

約翰史坦貝克在1962年獲頒諾貝爾獎

"John Steinbeck: Nobel Speech." Rich Geib's Humble Outpost in Cyberspace. Web. 25 July 2011. <http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/nobel/nobel.html>.

 

 

ž   1902227日,約翰‧歐內斯特‧史坦貝克在加州的薩琳娜斯出生,他是約翰‧歐內斯特‧史坦貝克一世和歐莉芙・漢米頓唯一的兒子。

ž   史坦貝克遺傳了母親喜愛閱讀的興趣。「年輕時,他特別喜愛閱讀杜斯妥也夫斯基的《罪與罰》,還有彌爾頓的《失樂園》和《亞瑟之死》。」(Liukkonen)

ž   史坦貝克在當地的高級中學就讀,放假的時候則會到農場和穀倉打工。

ž   到史丹佛大學就讀,但僅是修課,沒有拿文憑。

ž   在加州的山中當夜間守衛的時候,史坦貝克完成第一本著作《金杯》(1929)

ž   1930年,史坦貝克和他的第一任太太卡蘿・漢寧(Carol Henning)結婚,並定居在太平洋叢林市。在卡羅身兼數職努力支持史坦貝克的作家生涯時,同時間他也持續他的創作。1935年,史坦貝克出版了他第一本成功的長篇小說《 煎餅坪》(Tortilla Flat或譯:托爾提拉公寓)。」(Napierkowski)

ž   1937年,史坦貝克的作品《人鼠之間》立即就成為了暢銷書,他也成為了一位知名且受人敬重的作家。他也將這本長篇小說改編成戲劇,並在1937年的時候贏得紐約戲劇評論獎。(Novels Summaries Analysis)

ž   Steinbeck’s marriage with Carol Henning ended in 1942. “A year later, Steinbeck married dancer-singer Gwen Conger, who he divorced in 1948. They had two children together” (Liukkonen).

ž   1942年,史坦貝克結束了他和卡蘿・漢寧的婚姻。「一年後,史坦貝克和他的第二任太太,舞者和歌手葛文・康格(Gwen Conger)結婚,又在1948年離婚。他們一共生了兩個孩子。」(Liukkonen)

ž   By 1950, Steinbeck had married his third wife, Elaine Scott.

ž   1950年,史坦貝克和他的第三任太太伊蓮娜・史葛特(Elaine Scott)結婚。

ž   史坦貝克的餘生在紐約市和長島渡過。他的最後一本長篇小說是《令人不滿的冬天》(另譯:冬日愁情)(1961)

ž   「史坦貝克在1962年時贏得諾貝爾文學獎:只有五個美國的作家曾獲頒此獎項:辛克萊‧劉易斯,尤金‧歐尼爾,賽珍珠,威廉‧福克納和歐內斯特‧海明威。」(Novel Summaries Analysis)

ž   「史坦貝克獲得諾貝爾獎之後就沒有再創作任何的小說。1967年,他在一份長島的報紙Newsday上所發表有關越戰的報導,使很多人將他貼上鷹派和好戰論者的標籤。(Novel Summaries Analysis)

ž   19681220日,史坦貝克因為心臟病發而逝世。他的骨灰葬於他的家鄉,加州的薩琳娜斯。享年66歲。

 

II. John Steinbeck’s Works 約翰‧史坦貝克生平著作

A.    Selected Works

ž   Tortilla Flat (1935; film, 1942) 煎餅坪(另譯:托爾提拉公寓)

ž   In Dubious Battle (1936) 相持

ž   Of Mice And Men (1937; films, 1939, 1999) 人鼠之間(另譯:鼠與人)

ž   The Red Pony (1937; film, 1949) 紅駒

ž   The Grapes Of Wrath (1939: Pulitzer Prize; film, 1940) 憤怒的葡萄(另譯:怒火之花)

ž   The Moon Is Down (1942; film, 1943) 月亮下去了

ž   Cannery Row (1945; film, 1982) 製罐巷(另譯:製罐大道)

ž   The Pearl (1947; film, 1948) 滄海淚珠(另譯:珍珠)

ž   The Wayward Bus (1947; film, 1957) 拋錨汽車

ž   Burning Bright (1950) 炯炯焰光

ž   East of Eden (1952; film, 1955) 伊甸園東

ž   The Winter of Our Discontent (1961) 令人不滿的冬天(另譯:冬日愁情)

ž   Travels with Charley (1962) 與理查一起旅行:尋找美國

 

B.  史坦貝克著作簡介

 

早期未成名前的作品:

ž   「《天國牧場》(Pastures of Heaven 1932) and《長谷》(The Long Valley 1938)都是短篇故事合輯,薩琳娜斯村和福克納作品裡根據他在密西西比州拉法葉縣的家鄉,牛津郡所創造出來的Yoknapatawpha郡類似,都是一個虛構出來的地方。」(Liukkonen)

ž   在《大地的象徵》(1933)這本小說中,「史坦貝克綜合了生態及哲學家李克兹(Edward F. Ricketts)的想法和榮格的神話原型概念和主題。」(Liukkonen)「這部小說在描述一個農夫約瑟夫.韋恩(Joseph Wayne)受了他拓荒者父親的祝福後,在一個遙遠的蓋了一個新的農舍。最後他犧牲自己,化為塵土與甘霖,解決旱象」。史坦貝克不想太過於深入解釋故事情節,所以他事先就知道這本作品不會吸引太多的讀者。

早期成功之作:

ž   《煎餅坪(托爾提拉公寓)(1935)為他帶來了更為廣泛的知名度。讀者喜愛且完全接受他這部有關快樂且忠實美籍墨西哥裔的幽默故事。

ž   《相持》(1936)的背景是設在加州一個產蘋果的鄉村。小說的主角,Jim Nolan,率領900個居無定所的工人一同為了達成他的理想而進行罷工。史坦貝克之後也在這類作品,如《罐頭巷》中發揮了他觀察者的特性

ž   《人鼠之間》(1937)是史坦貝克第一個空前的成功。史坦貝克也在1937年將這部作品改編為三幕的戲劇。這部長篇小說主要的劇情著重在George Milton Lennie Small,兩個在農場工作的工人,夢想將來有一天會擁有屬於自己的一座小農場。

ž   《憤怒的葡萄》(1939):「當這部作品問世時,曾遭受美國國會議員來爾・玻任(Lyle Boren)的強烈抨擊,將這部小說描述成『一個謊言,一本不祥且極為惡劣的瘋狂作品,將會扭曲人心』。」之後,當史坦貝克以這部作品獲頒諾貝爾獎時,瑞典學院將它簡單稱為「一部史詩般的歷史記述」。這本小說描述了一個潦倒貧困且無家可歸的家庭從奧克拉荷馬遷移到加州的故事,並批評他們隨後因為農業經濟殘酷制度所遭受到的不合理剝削。

後期作品(較不受歡迎)

ž   《伊甸園東》(1952),「小說的篇名是與墮落的世界有相關聯,是一本長篇的家庭小說,小說的背景設在再過幾年就即將要滿一世紀的加州鄉村地區。根據一部份該隱和亞伯的故事改編而成,故事隨著特拉斯克和漢密爾頓兩個家族的歷史進行,也反映了美國社會的形成。」(Liukkonen)

ž   《令人不滿的冬天(冬日愁情)(1961)是史坦貝克最後一本重要的長篇小說,背景設定在當時的美國社會。這本小說沒有完全被大眾接受。即使是諾曼獎也沒有改變大眾對於這本小説的評價。「紐約時報的一篇社論質疑諾貝爾獎的委員會可能沒有做出最好的選擇。」(Liukkonen)

 

III. John Steinbeck’s Writing Style and Contribute to Literature

約翰‧史坦貝克的寫作風格和在文學上的貢獻

 

約翰‧史坦貝克是一位多才多藝的作家。「他曾被形容為反社會的作家,寫實主義作家,自然主義作家,新聞記者和劇作家。」(Reuben) 在他的著作裡有著很多很強烈和有力的主題。「最顯著的就是家庭的力量,環境對人的影響還有反對社會等主題。」(Reuben)

 

「史坦貝克有著極為廣泛的興趣:海洋生物學,爵士樂,政治學,哲學,歷史和數學。(Encyclopedia of World Biography)」對於很多人而言,他就代表了經濟大蕭條時期的聲音。史坦貝克嘗試了許多不同的寫作風格和寫作觀點。他大部份的寫作風格都是自然主義/寫實主義,在他的小說當中描寫勞動階段的人們。「史坦貝克可以很精確且專業的捕捉和表達和他背景相似人們擔心焦慮和其特別的個性。他同時也有著可以描繪類似神話和聖經模式的能力,並將這些東西用來增加他作品的可看性。」(Mibba Articles)

 

史坦貝克是一個時常雲遊四海的旅行家,而且常將他的旅行經驗作為是他創作小說的基礎,並且也寫了很多非小說形態的旅遊日誌。這些旅遊日誌包含《科爾特茲海》(Sea of Cortez 1942), 《與理查一起旅行:尋找美國》Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962) and A Russian Journal (1948)

 

在二次大戰期間,史坦貝克擔任《紐約先驅論壇報》的特派員。他寫了好幾篇文章和兩本長篇小說都是在處理跟戰爭相關的議題,但是都不被認為是屬於他最好的著作之一。在他關於戰爭的新聞稿裡,他描寫了被其他新聞記者忽略的偏遠地區。文章裡面包含了許多小事情,像是在英國轟炸機基地的生活British bomber station,鮑勃‧霍普的魅力,一首歌名為「莉莉瑪蓮」的歌曲,還有在義大利海岸的牽制任務。

 

「然而,在他結束戰爭時期的旅行返國時,他僅僅花了六個星期的時間就完成了《罐頭巷》,而這本長篇小說被稱為是他在那時期最具有力量的一本小說。」(Reuben) 有趣的是,小說描寫的不是戰爭,而是在和平的1930年代,居住在蒙特雷灣附近巷弄裡居民的故事。

 

1950年代,史坦貝克持續了他在政治上的參與,他的寫作風格轉為強烈且直接。1964年,他被委任為詹森總統的顧問。「他對於越南一直都是個積極主動的支持者直到他去參訪了這個飽受摧殘的國家。隨後他便鼓勵詹森總統由越南撤軍。」(Reuben)

 

On Duty as a Novelist:

ž   “Literature is as old as speech. It grew out of human need for it and it has not changed except to become more needed. The skalds, the bards, the writers are not separate and exclusive. From the beginning, their functions, their duties, their responsibilities have been decreed by our species” (“Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize Speech – 1962.”).

ž   “The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit--for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature” (“Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize Speech – 1962.”).  

 

On Writing

ž   “The basic rule given us was simple and heartbreaking. A story to be effective had to convey something from the writer to the reader, and the power of its offering was the measure of its excellence. Outside of that, there were no rules” (“John Steinbeck and Advice for Beginning Writers.”).

ž    

ž   “A story could be about anything and could use any means and any technique at all - so long as it was effective” (“John Steinbeck and Advice for Beginning Writers.”).

Steinbeck in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

“The ancient commission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with the dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement. Furthermore, the writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit; for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love” (Nobelprize.org).

 

IV. Cannery Row (1945)《罐頭巷》(1945)

 

Filmic Poster of Cannery Row

《罐頭巷》的電影海報

 

Monterey, CA. Steinbeck’s Cannery Row

加州,蒙特雷灣  史坦貝克筆下的罐頭巷

“Monterey, CA: Steinbeck’s Cannery Row” City Data.com Web. 22 July 2011. <http://www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc3364.php>

 

 

Full-size bust of John Steinbeck at Cannery Row

罐頭巷的約翰史坦貝克真人尺寸銅像

Steigerwald, Bill. "Steinbeck at Fremont Peak in California." Post-Gazette.com. 7 Nov. 2010. Web. 25 July 2011. <http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10311/1100998-37.stm>.

 

"Mack and the Boys as Consultants" in Doc's Lab: Myth and Legends of Cannery Row By Ed. B.Larsh as told by James Kent. Monterey, California: PBL Press, 1995.

 

A.    劇情簡介

「《罐頭巷》的故事是描述Mack和男孩們的冒險,一群沒有工作但是聰明且居住在巷底空地邊一間已經變遷的魚粉加工廠的居民。Mack和男孩們想要為Doc,溫柔且聰明的生物樣本供應商,同時對大家而言是像父親一樣的好楷模做一寫事情。他們為了Doc精心策劃了一個派對,但是計劃卻走樣了,Mack和男孩們必須要想辦法將一切的事情回復原狀。這本書將巷裡許多不同且生動的居民編織進一個深刻的故事,同時也描繪了一幅曾經是如此生氣蓬勃的罐頭加工區,如今卻面臨消失邊緣,如此令人難以忘懷的景象。」

B.     主題

社會

罐頭巷從幾個不同的角度來看位在加州,蒙特雷濱海地區,並撐過經濟大蕭條時期的社會如何生活。財務上被強迫要用在大量的慈善救助上,熊旗妓院的老闆/負責人,Dora Flood必須要負擔比別人更多的捐獻,才可以讓這個社會勉強忍受她所從事的不合法工作。Doc是整個社會的賢者和中心,每個人都尋求他的建議並從他這獲得其他的資訊。《罐頭巷》將社會邊緣化的人們給理想化了。

表面vs.真實

人事物往往表裡不一。在很多方面,故事裡沒有一件事是和表面上看起來的一樣,包括Doc和罐頭巷本身。

範例:

ž   “How can the poem and the stink and the grating noise - the quality of light, the tone, the habit and the dream - be set down alive?” (3).  

ž   “Lee Chong is more than a Chinese grocer. He must be. Perhaps he is evil balanced and held suspended by good…” (14).

ž   “Henri the painter was not French and his name was not Henri...About his painting there is some question” (134).  

配角

在《罐頭巷》裡的幾個角色的生活方式可以被認為是完成了《人鼠之間》裡Lennie(藍尼)想要靠大自然生活的夢想。史坦貝克特別描繪出這些令人憐憫的角色。儘管他們很貧困,缺少社會的關懷,而且處於邊緣弱勢的地位,他們試圖互相幫忙。雖然他們的計劃常常都是不周全而且執行率很差,但是他們所有的行為都是從心出發,為故事營造了溫暖和感傷的氛圍。

範例:

ž   廉價旅社皇宮一開始只是一間空蕩蕩的房子直到Mack和男孩們搬進來。這間房子才真的變成一個家,Mack,男孩們和親愛的狗用他們自己的方式組成了一個家庭。

 

C.     角色:

Mack (麥克)“a麥克和男孩們的頭頭,一個非常有魅力的人,可以誘惑任何人做任何事。他們一起住在一間他們稱為燒烤和廉價旅社皇宮的廢棄魚粉工廠。這間廢棄的工廠屬於Lee Chong

Eddie (艾迪)─ 當地酒吧“La Ida”的臨時酒保。他偷偷的用瓶子和水壺把店裡客人喝剩的酒帶回家。這樣的舉動讓他到哪裡都很受歡迎。

Hazel(海柔)─ 應該是男孩們裡面最辛勤工作的一個:他常會陪Doc去做採集的工作。諷刺的是,故事裡描述他因為太懶惰而沒辦法像一般的男孩一樣有真正犯罪的習慣。

Gay─ 因為被太太打而跟男孩們住在一起。他常在當地的酒吧流連或是因為和太太的爭吵而入獄。Gay有修理機械的天賦並且可以使任何的運輸工具運轉。

Doc (達克)─ 西方生物實驗室,一間提供樣本機構的負責人。Doc是一個溫柔憂愁的人,同時也是巷裡文化的推動者,慈善家和所有人的救濟者。他帶領Dora的女孩們還有其他的男孩們認識歌劇,古典音樂和文學。他也收養了Frankie並照顧他。

Dora Flood(朵拉)─ 一位當地的太太。熊旗餐廳,這間妓院的老闆。Dora是一位有著亮橘色頭髮,身材高大,穿著豔麗的女人。她心腸很好又很慷慨。她總是要面臨政府要求她關門大吉的險境,所以她必須要步步為營而且要做比別人多一倍的慈善救助。

Lee Chong (李崇)─ 巷子裡的中國雜貨商人。Lee Chong的店幾乎什麼貨品都有,他也很用心且認真的在做每一筆買賣,提供有利和無風險服務。Lee Chong 是一個很精明,有時候甚至會精於算計的商人,不過同是也是個好心腸的人。

Frankie(法蘭基)─ 一個因為自己的母親疏於照顧而有心理障礙的男孩,因此被Doc收養。Frankie沒有辦法勝任。他喜歡Doc,也常常這樣告訴Doc

(Above extracted from SparkNotes.com)

Henri(亨利)─ 當地的藝術家同時也是Doc(達克)的朋友。沒有人清楚的知道Henri的藝術天份,但是每個人都同意他將他停放在街區空地上的船建造的很漂亮。因為Henri懼怕海洋的關係,所以這艘船永遠沒有完工的一天,更重要的事,這是他一輩子的志向。

(以上摘錄至SparkNotes.com)

V. Important Passages of Cannery Row Explained – by Dr. Joseph Murphy

 

Page numbers refer to Penguin edition, 1992.

 

1)       1.  What can it profit a man to gain the whole world and to come to his property with a gastric ulcer, a blown prostate, and bifocals? Our Father who art in nature, who has given the gift of survival to the coyote, the common brown rat, the English sparrow, the house-fly and the moth, must have a great and overwhelming love for no-goods and blots-on-the-town and bums, and Mack and the boys. Virtues and graces and laziness and zest. Our Father who art in nature. (15)

 

In this passage from Cannery Row, Steinbeck’s narrator points out the irony that Mack and the boys are actually, from a natural perspective, better survivors than the middle class people who consider them “no-goods and blots-on-the-town.” Middle class strivers ruin their heath in the pursuit of material comfort and stability, while Mack and the boys enjoy life through a combination of natural instinct and laziness. Steinbeck’s narrator finds “virtues” and “graces” in Mack in the boys by altering the Christian prayer from “Our Father who art in heaven” to “Our Father who art in nature” (italics added). As children of nature, Mack and the boys are blessed. However, it should be added that although they are good survivors, Mac and the boys are not successful reproducers—thus they don’t measure up to a longer-term definition of success in nature.

 

2)      2.  But as time went on the gopher began to be a little impatient, for no female appeared. He sat in the entrance of his hole in the morning and made penetrating squeaks that are inaudible to the human ear but can be heard deep in the earth by other gopher. And still no female appeared. . . . Again he waited and squeaked beside his beautiful borrow in the beautiful place but no female ever came and after a while he had to move away. He had to move two blocks up the hill to the dahlia garden where they put out traps every night. (191-92)

 

This passage, from the penultimate chapter of Cannery Row is a sort of animal fable. The gopher finds the perfect borrow to live on Cannery Row; there are no traps and no predators and he begins to store food and prepare for a family. However, no female mate appears, so in order to mate and reproduce he needs to move to more dangerous ground with traps. The story seems to reflect upon the novel’s main characters—Mac and the boys and Doc—who find their own ideal places to live but, unlike the gopher, avoid the pitfalls of conventional middle class life (but also effectively give up on having offspring of their own).

 

3)      3.  [Mack] knew Doc had a girl in there, but Mack used to get a dreadful feeling of loneliness out of it. Even in the dear close contact with a girl Mack felt that Doc would be lonely. Doc was a night crawler. . . . Sometimes when it was all dark and when it seemed that sleep had come at last, the diamond-true child voices of the Sistine Choir would come from the windows of the laboratory.

     Doc had to keep up his collecting. (100)

 

This passage from Cannery Row describes Mack, in the Palace Flophouse, watching Doc at Western Biological. Mack senses something fundamentally lonely about Doc, even though Doc has frequent romantic partners. Although Doc is the hero of Cannery Row and contributes generously to its society, there is something damaged and isolated about him—he is a loner, “a night-crawler” (an analogy to nocturnal animals). There are clues here to how Mac compensates for his loneliness: he is a great absorber of art and music, e.g., the Sistine Choir, though he is not traditionally religious. His collecting of biological specimens, which he “had to keep up,” also seems a compensation for some inner emptiness.

 

VI. Study Questions on Cannery Row – by Dr. Joseph Murphy

 

Study Questions: Steinbeck, Cannery Row (page numbers refer to the Penguin edition, 1992)

  1. The opening lines of the novel assert that Cannery Row is “a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.” Explain the implication of each of these terms, and find an example of each element from elsewhere in the novel.

 

  1. In the final paragraph of the opening chapter, Steinbeck says he will “let the stories crawl” into the book “by themselves,” as a collector of marine animals lets a flat worm crawl onto a knife blade (3). What does this comment suggest about the structure of this novel? How does Steinbeck’s art resemble the work of a collector?

 

  1. What picture do we get of social classes in the town of Monterey, California, and particularly in the section called Cannery Row? To what class do the denizens of Cannery Row belong? How do they make money?

 

  1. Where do people live on Cannery Row? What, physically, constitutes a home in this novel? What separates private space from public space?

 

  1. Discuss the novel’s representation of family and marriage. What views of traditional family life do we see? What models are presented for alternative, non-traditional families?

 

  1. What is Steinbeck saying in his short, poetic chapter 2? What added significance is he giving to his subjects? How is he echoing, and revising, the language of Christianity?

 

  1. Study Steinbeck’s portrayal of Chinese characters and culture. Two key examples are Lee Chong, the grocer, and the unnamed “Chinaman” in chapter 4: how do they compare and contrast? How much understanding does Steinbeck seem to have of California’s Chinese culture?

 

  1. What makes Doc a unique character and an important figure on Cannery Row? What kinds of knowledge does he possess, and how do they relate to one another? What is the purpose of his work, and how does it connect Cannery Row to other places? How is Doc’s function in Cannery Row similar to and different from Mrs. Todd’s in The Country of the Pointed Firs?

 

  1. Discuss the function of animals (marine animals and others) in the novel. How does animal life reflect human life? How are animals different from humans? How do animals and humans relate to one another and to their environments—that is, how do they participate in the ecosystem?

 

  1. What is the role of violence in the novel? Give some specific examples and discuss their significance. What motivates violent behavior, particularly self-destructive behavior?

 

  1. This novel depicts what is primarily a male world. What female characters are represented, and how do they relate to men? Are they portrayed in a positive light? Explain.

 

  1.  In ch. 11, Steinbeck inserts a paragraph of commentary on the social impact of the Model T Ford (67-68). What points does he make? Explain his claim, “The theory of the Anglo Saxon home became so warped [by the Model T] that it never quite recovered.” How is this claim supported by events in this chapter?

 

  1. What do you think is Steinbeck’s purpose in including the story about the internal organs of Josh Billings, the humorist (ch. 12)? Is it humorous? Disgusting? Serious? Tongue-in-cheek? How does it relate to Steinbeck’s themes in Cannery Row? What does it reveal about Monterey as a town? What significance does the story have for Steinbeck as a literary figure in Monterey?

 

  1. Ch. 13 shows how Mack and the boys survive and prosper in the world. What methods do they use? What makes this trip a peaceful and ideal experience? How does a harsher reality also suggest itself in the chapter?

 

  1. At the end of ch. 13, Hazel remarks, “I bet Mack could of been president of the U.S. if he wanted” (84). What has Mack done to inspire this comment? How does Mack show himself to be a skilful politician? In ch. 15 we learn that the captain’s wife is actually a politician. Why is this ironic?

 

  1. Ch. 14 is a poetic inter-chapter about “the hour of the pearl” (86). What is special about this time, and why the association with “the pearl”? How do the details in this chapter—especially the description of the soldiers and their girlfriends—help to characterize this “hour of the pearl”? How does this chapter relate to the book’s larger themes?

 

  1. What more do we learn about Doc’s character in ch. 17? What does he eat and drink on the way down to La Jolla? Why? What do you think of this behavior pattern? Is it unhealthy? Abnormal? What does it suggest about Doc as a person?

 

  1. In ch. 18 Doc, while hunting for small octopi, discovers the body of a dead girl. How is the body described? How does Doc react to it, and what role does music play in his reaction? What does this reaction suggest about Doc’s character and his psyche? Why do you think Steinbeck includes this shocking discovery?

 

  1. What impact does the flag-pole skater (ch. 19) have on the town of Monterey, and on individuals within the town? Why do you think this particular spectacle attracts such interest? What question does everyone have about the flag-pole skater, and why don’t people ask it?

 

  1. Why does Lee Chong decide to accept Mack’s frogs as payment for merchandise? How does this scheme serve as a parody of capitalism? What happens to the frogs in the end?

 

  1. What is humorous about how the concept of the party develops in ch. 20? What decisions do Mack and the boys make? Are these decisions selfless or selfish? Give some examples of dialogue that are particularly funny or effective. 

 

VII. Further Reading

 

1.      National Steinbeck Center: The National Steinbeck Center is located in John Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas, Calif., a scenic 17-mile drive from Monterey in the heart of Steinbeck Country. The Center offers three distinct visitor experiences in literature and history, agriculture and art, as well special events and educational programs. Link: < http://www.steinbeck.org/>

 

2.      The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies: The only university research archive in the world dedicated solely to John Steinbeck's life and work, the Center promotes Steinbeck's goals of empathy and understanding by supporting education, inquiry, and the literary arts. Link: < http://as.sjsu.edu/steinbeck/>

 

3.      The Nobel Prize Winner in 1962: John Steinbeck. Read his brief bio on Nobel Prize.org. Link: <http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1962/steinbeck-bio.html>

 

4.      JohnSteinbeck.com is a tribute to John Steinbeck (1902-1968), a legendary Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning American writer whose name evokes dust bowl-era images of Salinas, Monterey, and migrant farm workers. This site features a bookstore, a shop, a film library, as well as several links of interest. Link: < http://www.johnsteinbeck.com/>

 

5.      The Steinbeck House: John Steinbeck’s birthplace and childhood home; A Restored Victorian Home Now a Charming Luncheon Restaurant. Located at 132 Central Avenue (two blocks west of the National Steinbeck Center) in Salinas, California. The Valley Guild is a non-profit, volunteer organization which has owned and operated the house since 1972. Link: <http://www.steinbeckhouse.com/>

 

6.      Cannery Row Literature Guide: Discover brief discussion techniques of plot, character development and theme employed by Steinbeck in his brief novella, Cannery Row. Link: <http://www.teachervision.fen.com/curriculum-planning/teaching-methods/3421.html>

 

7.      The Cannery Row Foundation Web Site: passion for the historical, literary, sociological, and ecological lessons of “America’s Most Famous Street”. Link: <http://www.canneryrow.org/>

 

VIII. Works Cited

“American Writers: John Steinbeck”. American Writers. 24 Apr 2011 <http://www.americanwriters.org/writers/steinbeck.asp>

The Grapes of Wrath: Author Biography.” Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 7. Detroit: Gale, 1998. eNotes.com. January 2006. 25 July 2011. <http://www.enotes.com/grapes-of-wrath/author-biography>.

“John Steinbeck.” Novel Summaries Analysis. Web. 20 Aug. 2011. <http://www.novelexplorer.com/the-grapes-of-wrath/john-steinbeck/>.

“John Steinbeck.” Mibba Articles. 30 May 2011. Web. 22 Aug. 2011. <http://articles.mibba.com/Biographies/4206/John-Steinbeck>. 

“John Steinbeck and Advice for Beginning Writers.” rjgeib.com. 21 Apr 2011 <http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/steinbeck/steinbeck.html>.

“John Steinbeck Biography.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Web. 25 July 2011. <http://www.notablebiographies.com/Sc-St/Steinbeck-John.html>.

“John Steinbeck – Biography”. Nobelprize.org. 24 Apr 2011 <http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1962/steinbeck-bio.html>

Liukkonen, Petri. “John Steinbeck.” Kirjasto.sci.fi. 2008. Web. 25 July 2011. <http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/johnstei.htm>.

“Looking Back - John Steinbeck.” CanneryRow.com. 2011. Web. 22 Aug. 2011. <http://www.canneryrow.com/john-steinbeck.php>.

“The Nobel Prize in Literature 1962”. Nobelprize.org. 21 Apr 2011 <http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1962/>.

Reuben, Paul P. “Chapter 7: John Steinbeck.” PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. 26 Dec 2010. Web. 22 Aug 2011. <http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap7/steinbeck.html>

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Cannery Row.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. n.d. Web. 2 Aug. 2011.

Steinbeck, John. Cannery Row. 1945. New York: Penguin, 1992.

Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize Speech – 1962.” The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies. 10 Dec. 1962. Web. 22 Aug. 2011. <http://as.sjsu.edu/steinbeck/works/index.jsp?val=works_nobel_speech>.

     
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