Teacher Guide

Cannery Row Lesson Plan

Introduction to Cannery Row

Published in 1945, Cannery Row details a series of events on its eponymous street, which is lined with sardine canneries. The story revolves around a few citizens in particular: the Chinese owner of the local general store, a marine biologist called Doc, and a group of homeless men. The actual street that influenced Steinbeck was Ocean View Avenue, in Monterey, California. Steinbeck says he wrote the novel for a World War II soldier who said he wished he could forget about the horrors he witnessed. As such, Cannery Row is decidedly lighter than, say, Of Mice and Men, although the author still works a bit of pathos into the book here and there.

Cannery Row follows a unique narrative...

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