Cannery Row Essay, Research Paper
In Cannery Row by John Steinbeck, many various instances depict the importance of being included in society. Everyone longs to be accepted by others and being lonely is ultimately the worst feeling in the wrold. William, Henri, and Frankie all show the human need of being included in society.
William, the bouncer at Dora’s, longs to be part of Mack and the boys. He admires the way they allow life to take it’s course. But when Mack exclaims, “God damn it, I hate a pimp,” this allienates William from society and his loneliness drives him to desperation. He commits suicide because he cannot stand his life any longer. Without his friends or anyone to care for him, he feels alienated from others. Claiming he is going to “bump myself off, ” noone takes him seriously. Dora responds coldly by saying, “do it in your own time and don’t mess up the rugs.” William feeling that he is without a friend goes to the extreme.
Henri, on the other hand demonstrates the need for companionship as well as the need to be alone for periods of time. Living in a boat with a “cramped cabin and the lack of a toilet” results in driving his girlfriends away. He repeatedly experiences loneliness. However, after he becomes used to the idea of being alone, Henri “felt a sense of relief.” By eating what he wants and “free of the endless biologic functions for awhile,” Henri shows that it is unhealthy to need constant companionship and being alone can help a person rejuvinate.
Frankie is all alone in the world except for Doc who accepts him although “he couldn’t learn and there was something wrong with his coordination.” Noone in the world including his parents cared about him except Doc. The closeness he has with Doc drives him to rob Jacob’s Jewelry Store. Wanting to do something nice for Doc drives him to drastic measures, becoming involved with the law. Frankie is compelled to steal for Doc because in Frankie’s eyes, Doc took drastic measures for him by doing what noone else would and accepting him as an equal human being.
Feeling lonely can be the worst feeling in the world and Steinback’s characters depict the human need to be included in society. In today’s ordinary world, nothing has changed. People who are lonely do drastic things out of desperation. When everyone was finally accepted at Doc’s party, it shows that if everyone was more accepting and loved all humans despite their differences, than our world would be a much more loving place to live.