Julianne Bigler

What's up with the second to last chapter about the gopher? I don't see how it pertains to anything, and I'm obviously not picking up the metaphor.

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John Monaghan The gopher is a metaphorical representation for us, people. We make plans for our lives, just as the gopher did when he started to lay out his dens, dreams in mind for what he saw as his future; just waiting for a mate to move in.
Just as Mack and the boys at the FlopHouse moved in, arranged it to their tastes, they wait for whatever life drops into their midst. the same can be said for the other residents of the neighborhood (Mr. and Mrs. Mallory living in their boilers; Doc Ricketts in his "lab" and others). They seem to settle in and live from day to day without expending any effort on upgrading their lives.

Eventually the gopher moves on to a better address. The Cannery Row occupants seem content to leave things alone.
Charles McChesney Doc has built a den like the gopher but he can't get a lady friend to stay with him. He'll probably have to move on if he is going to find a mate. He too like the gopher has been in a fight with another gopher where he has badly hurt the fingers of one of his paws. Doc has hurt his hand in a fight with Mack. Doc cares about Mack but he can't really love Mack yet Mack loves Doc. Frankie loves Doc too; but Doc seems inadequate in giving Frankie the love he needs to grow and mature or protect him from the uncaring rules of a society that Doc loathes. Doc does everything well and though he adores beautiful women their beauty seems to over power him like Frankie and he just can't get a permanent relationship with one. Though Doc is full of caring and concern he seems to be inadequate when it comes to loving. In Henri's illusion, I think Doc is the young man who cuts the boy's (Frankie's) throat and Henri gets the girl. Henri can't keep the girl though because he seems unable to support her. That's not Doc's problem.
Anon45678 Much of this book seems abstract. It also seems fantastic like people are inhabiting a dream. Some of the passages seem to be on the edge of reality but with enough clues to see how it practically applies. These are a bit foggy but with bits of clearing. Then there is the following passage that I can't make out which is heads or tails.

This passage occurs in chapter 4 just after the ten year old boy named Andy insults the Chinese man:
"The old man stopped and turned. Andy stopped. The deep-brown eyes looked at Andy and the thin corded lips moved. What happened then Andy was never able to explain or to forget. For the eyes spread out until there was no Chinaman. And then it was one eye - one huge brown eye as big as a church door. Andy looked through the shiny transparent brown door and through it he saw a lonely countryside, flat for miles but ending against a row of fantastic mountains shaped like cows' and dogs' heads and tents and mushrooms. There was low coarse grass on the plain and here and there a little mound. And a small animal like a woodchuck sat on each mound. And the loneliness - the desolate cold aloneness of the landscape made Andy whimper because there wasn't anybody at all in the world and he was left. Andy shut his eyes so he wouldn't have to see it any more and when he opened them, he was in Cannery Row and the old Chinaman was just flap-flapping between Western Biological and the Hediondo Cannery. Andy was the only boy who did that and he never did it again."

The first two sentences of chapter 2 also make little sense to me.
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