Cannery Row


John Steinbeck

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The Greek Character Analysis

The cook at Dora Flood’s brothel, the Bear Flag Restaurant. When William—the bouncer who precedes Alfy—comes to the Greek and tells him that he’s thinking of committing suicide, the Greek doesn’t take him seriously. Instead, he says that people who talk about killing themselves never actually do it, a statement that prompts William to grab an ice pick and thrust it into his own heart.

The Greek Quotes in Cannery Row

The Cannery Row quotes below are all either spoken by The Greek or refer to The Greek . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Vice and Virtue Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Cannery Row published in 2002.
Chapter 3 Quotes

And William saw the change, saw first how the Greek knew he could do it and then the Greek knew he would do it. As soon as he saw that in the Greek’s eyes William knew he had to do it. He was sad because now it seemed silly. His hand rose and the ice pick snapped into his heart. It was amazing how easily it went in. William was the watchman before Alfred came. Everyone liked Alfred. He could sit on the pipes with Mack and the boys any time. He could even visit up at the Palace Flophouse.

Related Characters: William , The Greek , Alfy
Related Symbols: The Bear Flag Restaurant
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
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Cannery Row PDF

The Greek Character Timeline in Cannery Row

The timeline below shows where the character The Greek appears in Cannery Row. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Loneliness, Melancholy, and Happiness Theme Icon
Kindness, Empathy, and Friendship Theme Icon
William seeks out the Greek —the house’s cook—and tells him he wants to kill himself. “I hear like the fella... (full context)