60 pages 2 hours read

John Steinbeck

Cannery Row

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1945

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Chapters 7-13Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 7 Summary

In this chapter, the focus is the Palace Flophouse, where Mack, Hazel, Eddie, Hughie, Jones, and eventually Gay live. The men start with chalk rectangles on the floor that outline their sleeping spaces and sit on the floor outside them to play cards. A long rainy period leads them to begin furnishing the space. Hughie is the first to bring in a cot. Eventually, the Palace Flophouse is filled with furniture and decorations.

They purchase a stove for 80 cents and then must carry it from Seaside to Cannery Row. It takes Mack and Hughie three days to transport it, camping next to it during the nights of the five-mile journey. This final appliance gives the place a homey feeling and instills pride in the residents.

Next, the narrator describes Eddie’s job as substitute bartender at La Ida, filling in when Whitey is sick. Eddie steals some alcohol, usually from what is left in customers’ glasses, mixing the different drinks together in a gallon jug. This is his contribution to the house, which is much appreciated by the others.

While Hazel collects starfish, the rest of the residents share Eddie’s latest concoction and talk about Doc. They want to do something nice for him and suggest hooking him up with a woman, but Jones asserts that Doc is already seeing a few women.