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By John Steinbeck

THE PEARL is Steinbeck's ideal parable approximately wealth and the evil it may possibly deliver. whilst Kino, an Indian pearl-diver, reveals 'the Pearl of the world' he believes that his lifestyles can be magically remodeled. he'll marry Juana in church and their little boy, Coyotito, may be in a position to attend institution. Obsessed via his desires, Kino is unaware of the greed, worry or even violence the pearl arouses in him and his neighbours. Written with haunting simplicty and lyrical simplicity, THE PEARL units the values of the civilized international opposed to these of the primitive and unearths them tragically insufficient.

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Additional info for The Pearl

Sample text

In Steinbeck’s parable, however, when “the great pearl, perfect as the moon… as large as a sea-gull’s egg,” is found by the illiterate and innocent Mexican man Kino, his discovery became a way for Steinbeck to assess the American dream and to find it wanting. To become successful, to gain possessions and prominence, to become a force within a community—these were aspects of the dream that everyone recognized and few questioned. But for Steinbeck, the great notoriety of The Grapes of Wrath had been traumatic.

During the night, the physician sends someone to steal the jewel. He has put the family’s real jewel, their son, at risk in the process of enabling himself to profit from Kino’s simple luck. Extending the plot to include a child, then, creates a kind of vulnerability that putting either Kino or Juana in danger would not have conveyed. The perversion of sheer innocence, and its ravishment, sets in motion a dynamic like that of medieval morality plays. Steinbeck, well read in medieval texts, created his own version of the fourteenth-century alliterative poem Pearl, an elegy by the anonymous poet for the death of his daughter before she was two years old.

His personal sympathy for the down-and-out of society—whether in the States or in Mexico—led him to draw their circumstances vividly. Steinbeck’s fiction provides convincing details, so that the reader believes in the characters’ dilemmas. In the weeks he spent in 1944 getting ready to write The Pearl, Steinbeck found “the little book” more difficult to complete than he had expected. To a friend, he wrote that he had visited the “beautiful” ruins of Mitla and Monte Alban near Oaxaca, as well as San Miguel Allende, commenting on the strangeness of his impressions and his sense that he was experiencing a personal rebirth.

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