Its a time and place where People were judged by who they were rather than what they did for a living or how they dressed. It was a place to relax, a place to be happy. Ten days later he was in the basement. Set against the background of Dust Bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel west in search of the promised land. But as the water began to boil gently about him, he smelled good from the beginning. He went across the vacant lot, crossed the street and entered the basement of the laboratory. People, sleeping, heard his flapping shoe go by and they awaiened for a moment.
But when Gabilan falls ill, Jody discovers there are still lessons he must learn about the ways of nature and, particularly, the ways of man. Rattle was not a care- ful man. His jeans were wet with sea water to the thighs and where it was drying the white salt rings were forming. No great plot, but what characters! It was like a shrimp ice-cream. Doc had to know not only the tides, but when a particular low tide was good in a particular place. And you know as good as me — Gay never did take any pleasure in beating her up. The street is silent of progress and business.
But he gets tired of it. . As it was they used decrepit, struggling old horrors of machines that needed the constant attention of a man like Gay. On an evening when he stood in his place on a pad of news- paper to keep his feet warm, he contemplated with humour and sadness a business deal that had been consummated that afternoon and reconsuramated later that same afternoon. Now Doc really needed the frogs.
But to get back to the evening. Doc walked quietly down the stairs and into the cellar Frankie was in the excelsior box burrowed down clear to the bottom, with the pile of excelsior on top of him. You can order anything living from Western Biological and sooner or later you will get it. Finally he sold his suit and helmet and pump and went on a hell of a drunk and then he left town. Doc pushed his rain hat on the back of his head. When a case got really out of hand he phoned a local doctor and sometimes one came, if it seemed to be an emergency.
It meant a five-hundred-mile drive each way and his arrival had to coincide with the retreating waters. With the great stove came pride, and with pride, the Palace became home. There is no golden afternoon next to the cliff. One further bond it established — you cannot steal from your benefactor. Benjamin Peabody and his wife had it.
Being timid and young, they prefer a bottom on which there are many caves and little crevices and lumps of mud where they may hide from predators and protect themselves from the waves. Mack became open and confidential. Now you just pack up and put that fire out and get off this land. Drawing on his memories of the real inhabitants of Monterey, California, Steinbeck interweaves the stories of Doc, Henri, Mack and his boys, and the other characters in this world, where only the fittest survive, to create a novel that is at once one of his most humorous and most poignant works. Every time he gets it nearly finished he changes it and starts over again. Some of the old-timers considered this sentimental and some thought it wasteful, and to some it was sacrilegious since there was no provision for it in any sacred volume. Then from the town pour Wops and Chinamen and Polaks, men and women in trousers and rubber coats and oilcloth aprons.
Besides, he intended to get a good dinner in Los Angeles, and it was dark when he got there. Little water-snakes slipped down to the rocks and then gently entered the water and swam along through the pool, their heads held up like little periscopes and a tiny wake spreading behind them. The Carmel is a lovely little river. Gradually, the plant engineer removed the tubing to use to patch other out- worn equipment at the Hediondo. Why we can get them right up Carmel River. And down to the rocks come the black flies to eat anything they can find. From this experience emerged Walden, one of the great classics of American literature.
It had solid tyres on its back wheels and blocks held its front wheels ofE the ground. City hunters going out for sport load themselves with food and liquor, but not Mack. True it was piled high with fish meal and the smell of it was delicate and penetrating. To the left the oflSce opens into a library. A man dark and large stalked near and he had a shot-gun over his arm and a pointer walked shyly and delicately at his heel.
In the morning when the sardine fleet has made a catch, the purse-seiners waddle heavily into the bay blowing their whistles. They bellowed love songs and challenges. They are the Virtues, the Graces, the Beauties of the hurried mangled craziness of Monterey and the cosmic Monterey where men in fear and hunger destroy their stomachs in the fight to secure certain food, where men hungering for love destroy everything lovable about them. Mack and the boys are the Beauties, the Virtues, the Graces. The lights were on in the lab all night and yet he seemed to be up in the day- time too.
Only Hazel stayed awake to replenish the little fire imder the cooking chicken. His fingers could creep like an octopus, could grab and hold like an anemone. The jug went around and warmed them. The Greek cook made a ten-gallon cauldron of strong soup and kept it full and kept it strong. He wore half-glasses and since he looked at everything through them, he had to tilt his head back to see in the distance. And then right in front of her, the thing happened, the co-ordination failed, the hands fumbled, the panicked muscles, the nerves telegraphed to a dead operator, the responses did not come back. He had a dark and ugly face and a mouth twisted with brooding.