Course Hero Logo

Cannery Row | Study Guide

John Steinbeck

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Cannery Row Study Guide." Course Hero. 9 Mar. 2018. Web. 1 June 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2018, March 9). Cannery Row Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2018)



Course Hero. "Cannery Row Study Guide." March 9, 2018. Accessed June 1, 2023.


Course Hero, "Cannery Row Study Guide," March 9, 2018, accessed June 1, 2023,

Cannery Row | Chapter 24 | Summary



Mary Talbot loves parties. Her primary gift is injecting cheer into her home to stave off the depression that threatens her husband, Tom, an unsuccessful writer. Because they have no money, Mary's parties are sometimes no more than tea parties for the local cats. One afternoon, Tom is in bed, disconsolate, when Mary goes to the yard to invite the cats to tea. She sees one of them tormenting a mouse, and she calls for Tom. He kills the mouse, knocks the cat off the fence, and sits down to tea with Mary. She has a pregnancy party later that year.


Mary enjoys attending parties, planning them, and throwing them. More than that, she uses her celebratory nature as an antidote to her husband's gloom. Parties save Mary and Tom from despair, even if she has to pretend they are grander than she can make them on their limited resources. The disaster at Mary's own tea party mirrors the boys' first unsuccessful party. She too, like the boys, plans a happier party.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Cannery Row? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!