Cannery Row Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the one fear of the answer to #33?

2. What does Mack want to do?

3. How has Dora managed to stay in business for so many years?

4. What does Lee lend to Mack's job assignment?

5. Over the years, what does Doc become for Cannery Row?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the building where Western Biological Laboratories is located.

2. What happens to spur Mack and the boys into fixing up the Palace Flophouse?

3. What does Steinbeck think has changed America dramatically in only two generations?

4. How does Lee acquire another building?

5. What does Steinbeck call Mack and the boys?

6. What is the significance of Lao Tze's philosophies in the story?

7. Explain the behavior of the Chinaman.

8. What is the irony of Hazel's name?

9. Describe Hazel.

10. Explain the irony in Mack's telling Doc that he and the boys need money for a good cause.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Steinbeck populates Cannery Row with several eccentric characters. Who are the eccentrics in the novel? What makes them eccentric? Do you have a favorite eccentric in the book? Why? What makes him/her so appealing to you?

Essay Topic 2

Steinbeck clearly likes to have fun with his readers. Name some examples of humor in this book. Which characters are especially prone to humorous behavior? Which are not? Why does Steinbeck use humor? Is he trying to balance somber stories, or does he just find life to be funny most of the time, at least in this story?

Essay Topic 3

Even though Doc is a marine biologist, he tends to the needs of people and animals on Cannery Row, too. Name some examples of Doc's care toward people. How does he help animals? How does he rally the town's residents to help each other when widespread influenza hits?

(see the answer keys)

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