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'Cannery Row' Questions for Study and Discussion

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Study Guide Cannery Row is a famous novel by John Steinbeck, which draws from his personal experiences growing up (and working) in California. Here are a few questions for study and discussion.

Questions for Study & Discussion
  • What is important about the title?

  • What are the conflicts in Cannery Row? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional) do you see?

  • How does John Steinbeck reveal character in Cannery Row?

  • What are some themes in the work? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • What are some symbols in Cannery Row? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • Are the main characters consistent in their actions? Are they fully developed characters? How? Why?

  • Do you find the characters likable? Are the characters persons you would want to meet?

  • What is the central/primary purpose of the story? Is the purpose important or meaningful?

  • How essential is the setting to the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere else?

  • Is there a role for women in the text?

  • Would you recommend Cannery Row to a friend? Would you read other works by John Steinbeck?

  • Does the novel end the way you expected? How? Why?

  • How does this work compare to the other works by John Steinbeck?

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