- The Pearl (novel)
Author(s) John Steinbeck Original title The Pearl Illustrator Cover Design: Micheal Ian Kaye Cover artist Ross Mcdonald Country United States Language English Publisher The Viking Press & William Heinemann Publication date 1947 Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback) ISBN ISBN 0-14-017737-X OCLC Number 27697348
A story based on a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man's nature, the darkest depths of evil, and the disastrous effects of stepping out of an established system. Bad things will happen if one abuses his/her spot, according to the Father in the novel.
The doctor refers to Kino's race as animals.
The Pearl itself eventually leads to the devastation of a family. At the outset, Kino envisions a better future the pearl will bring as he wants new clothes for his family and himself, a proper wedding for he and Juana, and a proper education for Coyotito. Before Kino undertakes his plans, friends and relatives of Kino wonder whether it will make or break Kino and his family and people question whether he can achieve these goals because Kino would have to essentially break the rigid social structure.
The pearl is symbolic of all the power to deceive, to corrupt, and to destroy. But it does bring hope, promise to comfort, and security to this poor, Mexican family.
References in other media
- Fleming and John's song The Pearl is directly based on the novella.
- About.com Book Review
- Photos of the first edition of The Pearl
- The Pearl study guide and teaching guide - analysis, themes, quotes, and multimedia for students and teachers
Works by John Steinbeck Novels and
Cup of Gold (1927) · The Red Pony (1933) · To a God Unknown (1933) · Tortilla Flat (1935) · In Dubious Battle (1936) · Of Mice and Men (1937) · The Grapes of Wrath (1939) · The Moon Is Down (1942) · Cannery Row (1945) · The Wayward Bus (1947) · The Pearl (1947) · Burning Bright (1950) · East of Eden (1952) · Sweet Thursday (1954) · The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957) · The Winter of Our Discontent (1961) · The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976)
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