Cannery Row

Who is Alfred from Cannery Row and what is their importance?

Asked by
Last updated by Cat
1 Answers
Log in to answer

Alfred is the watchman (bouncer) at the deceptively named Bear Flag Restaurant—a whorehouse—Alfred ("Alfie") is, unlike his late predecessor William, liked by everyone. He knows more about everyone's business in town than most, but is discrete. He stops fights, tends bar, gives first aid, keeps the police friendly, and reads Science and Health to the Christian Scientist girls. Late in the novel, while evicting a troublesome drunk, Alfred tosses him too forcefully and the man breaks his back. This causes Alfred to lose his edge and Madam Dora Flood suggests a vacation. Alfred is moody about missing Doc's birthday party, but Flood allows him to wander over after business slows down. Hearing a fight break out at the party, Alfred wades in with a baseball bat.