The Pearl

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An engaging novel has provoking ideas
‘The Pearl’ is a novella written by American author John Steinbeck in 1947. It is the story of a Mexican pearl diver, Kino, and explores man's nature as well as greed and evil. In the story, Kino, a poor fisherman, lives in a small town called La Paz with his wife Juana, and his baby son Coyotito. The interaction between characters and setting is explored thoroughly by John Steinbeck in his book ‘The Pearl. Multiple themes are included and can be seen through a wide range of diverse linguistic techniques. This novella is very interesting and deep and contains a lot of emotional writing. The story goes like this; one morning Coyotito is stung by a scorpion and Kino must find a way to pay the town doctor to treat him. Soon Kino discovers a massive pearl which he is prepared to sell to pay the doctor but he is attacked several times and is cheated by the doctor and the pearl buyers. He is forced to flee to the capital after killing a man, but trackers followed who eventually traded their own lives for Coyotito’s. He returns with Juana back to La Paz with a dead Coyotito, rifle and the Pearl. He realises all the harm the pearl has done and throws it back into the sea. This novel offers readers thoughtful provoking ideas of people as well as objects which can bring many evils. Characters in this book are not what you would expect in such a short book like this. The ideas introduced are expressed very simply, but is very true to what was happening to when this book was written, where racism and discrimination was very high among social groups. The most provoking idea is the pearl. The pearl changes throughout this book, just like Kino. After Kino opened up the oyster, the pearl is described: At the start of the novel, Steinbeck wrote a very meaningful sentence; "If his story is a parable, perhaps everyone takes his own meaning from it and reads his own life into it." In these lines, Steinbeck does not set up opposites such as...
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