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Cannery Row Essay

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What Happiness Brings to Cannery Row

People always try to find happiness in their lives no matter how much they have or how little they have in their lives. Like the people in The Great Depression do not have much but make the best out of it. The people in Cannery Row by John Steinbeck have various situations that are difficult, but in the end everyone pursues happiness.

First, Mack and the boys seem to find happiness even though they have very little and are debt to Lee Chong. Mack and the boys by day hang around Lee Chong's and by night sleep under trees or in pipes, it depends on the weather. They leisurely live their life not caring were they sleep as long it keeps them dry during the rainy season.. They live happily without getting an ulcer or worrying about money. Mack and the boys are always in debt to Lee Chong but they consistently try to get food or liquor from his shop. Mack and the boys do not care that they are in debt because they live an easy going life. Being in debt also helps that Lee Chong does not really expect Mack and the boys to repay so he expects nothing in return. Mac and the boys say they get a job when they need it. They really have no problem working but they only work if they really need it which seems very little times. They also do not even get close to falling in the trap because working just to get money for necessities is what they do while the people in the trap work to just get money and gain material things.

Next, the Malloy's gain happiness by foraging for a house. Mr. and Mrs. Malloy move into the broken down boiler in-between Lee Chongs and the Bear Flag Restaurant. The Malloy's find happiness by getting a house to live in because they were homeless. This proves that in some ways materialism brings happiness, but being happy will stop because of the human desire to gain more and more. After moving into the boiler the Malloy's started to rent out the pipes that went with the boiler to the workers from the canneries. The Malloy's happiness wears off and try to get more money to buy other materials. Gaining materials bring happiness only for a short period of time then people end up wanting more. Mrs. Malloy wants to buy curtains for the boiler, but Mr. Malloy says, "Why would we buy curtains if our house has no widows"(49). As the Malloy's continue to live in the boiler Mrs. Malloy wants to give the boiler a feminine touch to make it feel



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