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Importance Of Respect In Cannery Row

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Cannery Row is a book written by John Steinbeck after the First World War. Initially, the novel seems like more of a humorous book that was written in such a theme that Steinbeck usually uses. The novel does have its main plot, but also their are some side chapters that not only interrupt but also not important to the central idea that imparts to only the narrative on a regular basis. Most of us would suspect that there are those side chapters to universalize the book, but it isn’t necessarily the case in my opinion. The side sections draw their own conclusions, and they’ve got a message that Steinbeck certainly tried to show via his novel. The book does have a major point towards respect. Steinbeck tries to say in his novel that respectability seems to be the negative force which thrives on the universe. Steinbeck also utilizes his characters to inform regarding respect and also it impact on society throughout this novel. As Stockwell Day once said, “As all human beings are, in my view, creatures of God’s design, we must respect all other human beings. That does not mean I have to agree with their choices or agree with their opinions, but indeed I respect them as human beings.” I totally agree with him about this. I believe that we do not need to agree with something or someone just because we need to respect them. We can respect their opinion and also disagree with them at the same time.

Respect seems to be the gesture of revealing someone else that you appreciate their thoughts and feelings. Respect is indeed a fundamental value which not only symbolize, but it also earn, every individuals desire. Respect is not always what you’re saying, but how you have been acting.What to do to gain respect is just to show the world that you take their thoughts and feelings into account. If you show compassion for others, others will respect you and pay attention to your viewpoints. Whatever their ethnicity, age, religious faith, or social position is, everyone deserves the respect.

In addition, I understood this a few years ago when I went to India. My relatives and I had dinner in a restaurant and perhaps a homeless family came into the restaurant to shelter from the pouring rain late at night. The restaurant owner screamed and recklessly started telling the homeless parents and their two kids to leave. People are turning to see what was going on as the mother told the owner that he had to show some respect to this homeless family. The argument here between the boss and the lady caused the guests to annoy the restaurant when they witnessed all these rude and resistance towards an unfortunate family just seeking shelter. The boss lost the respect and support others had earlier shown towards him by being rude and turning away the homeless family. Even people without homes deserve respect. Everyone is worthy of respect. No respect should be denied to anyone.

Thesis Statement

Throughout Cannery Row there are many suicide deaths in the novel with variety of different reasons.

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First when Dora’s first bouncer killed himself because of rejections and lack of respect from everyone he tried to be a friend with.

Even when the author talks about the old chinaman that walks up and down the street just before dawn and dusk respectively. A young boy makes fun of him and he does that to keep his self respect. I believe this is wrong because everyone deserves respect.

Each of these events demonstrate that in order to keep up a front, a person may be motivated to uncomfortable, disturbing and perhaps even suicidal lengths. These two characters have been made fun, laughed, and labelled as distinct. In no way have they been respected, which Steinbeck clearly shows.


Respect is a very simple act and it’s often ignored or overlooked, but it is the most important thing to make or break life success because some individuals feel they don’t have to respect anybody but they want others to show them unconditional respect, however the life does not work like this though because you have to give to receive.

Research Question

  • Is my research topic and thesis worthy of writing about?
  • Did Steinbeck personally was not respected by someone since there are many characters who lack respect in his novel?
  • How did people respected each other right after First World War?
  • What was the point of old chinaman and why no one respected him?
  • Can my research be questionable since the novel was written right after the First World War and considering the violence that was present?


The first and most important priority in my cultural heritage is respect. We respect all. We generally ask for blessings from the elders like parents and grandparents throughout any formal occasion or birthday. If we have guests over, rather than asking them to get it on their own, we serve them water or tea. The function of respect in my cultural heritage on a regular basis is quite crucial. We all are distinct, however for who we are, how we feel, and what we believe we seem to want to be respected. We justify the dignity of other individual through showing respect to everyone while often improving our own. I believe respect is important in our life to success. I only believe that if you don’t give respect then you won’t get respect and everyone deserves respect.


  1. Garden, Rose. “Statement by the President.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, 9 Nov. 2016,
  2. Steinbeck, John. Cannery Row. Penguin Books, 2002.
  3. Railsback, Brian and Meyer, Michael J, editors. A John Steinbeck Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press, 2006.
  4. “Stockwell Day Quotes.” BrainyQuote, Xplore,
  5. Hartmann, Jack. “Respect.” Respect: Song Lyrics and Sound Clip,
  6. Harris, David. “Respect.”, 24 Mar. 2007,
  7. Jackson, Shawn. “How to Respect Yourself and Others.” Good Choices Good Life, 2014,
  8. Wilson, Susie. “Respect Has Great Importance in Everyday Life.” LinkedIn, 11 Mar. 2011,
  9. Monica, Kristine |. “Respect.” Edited by Nancy Brown, California Teen Health | Teen Health Information, Oct. 2013,
  10. Rodenhizer, Samuel. “How To Show Respect For Others ( Why It’s Important In Life).” A Conscious Rethink, 21 Mar. 2019,

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Importance Of Respect In Cannery Row. (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from
“Importance Of Respect In Cannery Row.” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022,
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