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Cannery Row Teaching Unit
Excerpt From this Document
- In this novel, how could collecting be a metaphor for writing? What is symbolic about collecting? Include examples of various vignettes.
- What is significant about the animal references in the novel? When do these occur and why are they used? What might the animals symbolize?
- Explain the role of violence in the novel. What is Steinbeck’s reasoning for including so many suicides and other deaths in the story? How would the story be different if the violence were less prevalent?
- Explain how this novel could be categorized as regional writing, or “local color” writing. Find specific references that support your answer.
- Choose a character you think is the most successful in this novel and explain why you chose that character. Think of how success can be defined for these people in Cannery Row (monetarily, sense of pride, etc.) and argue your point using specific examples from the book.
- Doc responds peculiarly when he finds the dead girl in the water. Explain how his reaction is integral to his character, and discuss what the dead girl may symbolize.
- Compare aspects of Frankie’s character with those of Mack and the boys. How are they similar? Find examples that illustrate their good intentions which accidentally hurt others.
- Compare the behavior of Mrs. Malloy and her boiler curtains with Mrs. Mary Talbot, the party organizer for the neighborhood cats. What are the qualities that both women share? Discuss how these women characterize the contrast of realism versus idealism.
About this Document
A teaching unit and individual learning packet from Prestwick House. Includes the following: comprehensive chapter-by-chapter study guides for students; questions suitable for essay topics or discussion; vocabulary lists; multiple-choice and essay test with answer key; introductory material from Prestwick House to familiarize both students and teachers with the work.