60 pages 2 hours read

John Steinbeck

Cannery Row

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1945

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Chapters 27-32Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 27 Summary

This chapter focuses on the plans for Doc’s second party. Mack and his friends discuss where to hold it and decide on the laboratory. The entire Cannery Row community hears rumors about the party and begins gathering gifts for Doc. The women at Bear Flag sew a quilt for him, Lee gets firecrackers and Chinese lily bulbs, and Sam boxes up classic car parts he collected. Mack and his friends trap tom cats for Doc. Gay gets out of the Salinas jail in time for the event, Henri creates a pincushion art piece, and his friend Eric plans to give Doc a rowing machine.

Doc becomes suspicious because people stop talking when he comes into a room. One night at Halfway House he overhears a drunk asking the bartender about attending his birthday party. Doc then makes arrangements to store his expensive things so that they don’t get broken during this party. In addition, he orders food for the party, correctly assuming that no one else has done so. The sex workers at the Bear Flag discuss what to wear to the party and arrange to take different shifts so that they all can attend it at different times.