Cannery Row is a place that held great personal significance for Steinbeck, as he spent a lot of time there and became close friends with Ed Ricketts, the marine biologist upon whom he modeled the character of Doc. Therefore, this novel is not just about Cannery Row - it is Cannery Row. Steinbeck conveys this idea with the opening lines of the novel: "Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream" (5). Cannery Row represents Steinbeck's attempt to paint the intricacies of this place with his words. Therefore, the plot is loose and secondary to his descriptions of the setting. Furthermore, he includes unrelated vignettes that may seem like non-sequiturs but they are actually just another part of the vibrant tapestry of Cannery Row.
New England was not the only area in the colonies; southern literature is represented by the diary of William Byrd of Virginia, as well as by The History of the Dividing Line , which detailed the expedition to survey the swamp between Virginia and North Carolina but which also comments on the different lifestyles of the Native Americans and the white settlers in the area.  In a similar book, Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West , William Bartram described in great detail the Southern landscape and the Native American peoples whom he encountered; Bartram's book was very popular in Europe, being translated into German, French and Dutch. 
My non-member husband was with me that day – he participates in various LDS activities with me. He was particularly impressed, too, and he’s equally upset about all of this. He was raised Catholic until his teens – and when he read Tiago’s comment: “Not being specific I think leads some members to assume too much like one commented in a recent EQ lesson who stated that he had on good authority that most relief products distributed through Catholic Charities are funded by LDS money,” he was particularly bothered by that sort of blatant misinformation going around. While the LDS church is on record as having donated to Catholic Charities, this seems to be a really twisted up, backwards version of the reality that LDS often uses the much larger Catholic Charities infrastructure to distribute its material assistance.