The Pearl


“In the town they tell the story of the great pearl, how it was found, and how it was lost again.  They tell of Kino the fisherman and of his wife Juana, and of the boy Coyotito.  And because the story has been told so often, it has taken root in every man’s mind.”

This short novella by Steinbeck immediately brought to mind The Pearl of Great Price, the parable of the man who sells everything to get the pearl. When Kino  finds the mother of all pearls he sees it as the end of poverty and the beginning of opportunity for his family.   In the end it costs him what is most dear to him.  The Pearl is a portrait of greed; no one is immue.  Steinbeck began this story after The Grapes of Wrath had won the Pulitzer Prize, while he was pondering the impact of personal prosperity.

In discussions of the lottery (which I think of as a voluntary tax) this would be good reading.  Studies have concluded that many lottery winners eventually end up miserable. No profanity in this one, just great writing and  much to discuss.  I highly recommend it.

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7 thoughts on “The Pearl

  1. Reads like you’re getting ready for Sherry’s Sat Review 🙂
    Steinbeck is worthy.
    I guess you’ve figured out that I am a slow reader, not finishing most of what I start……… do you think you could still like me?

  2. Dana!! Gracious, what kind of comment is that? I limit my friendships only to people who finish every book? <grin> I was happy to listen to this Steinbeck. He is a remarkable writer. So sad. Sort of a modern Dickens.On another subject, I’m crossing my fingers, if that’s allowed to Christians, that you’ll be able to come to your niece’s wedding. Oh, we would have a good time! I’m helping with the rehearsal dinner. More than one of my brother’s recipes will be served.

  3. This is soooo tempting, but the timing is so not good for me.  How can I leave my family and come alone?  What about the weather?  Don’t y’all have blizzards in the Winter?  Who wants to fly then?  It would be easier for me to sneak away, if my girls were back in school.  Such a dilemma.
    Whine.
    Whine again.

  4. A friend of mine who teaches middle school English at a public school uses this book every year. She uses it to introduce Christian themes that might not otherwise be “fair game” for discussion.I’ve been meaning to re-read this for a long time. I’ll have to look for it at the library today.Blessings,Sandy

  5. So wanted to pick up the phone and call you for technical assistance.
    Yesterday I spent hours trying to figure out how to download a book from Librivox and then get it onto my MP3 player, so that I could listen to it on my walk.  Since I had no company and I was planning to walk in circles :), I opted for earphones.
    At any rate, I finally achieved the donwload, copying, and synchronization of The Warden and will be able to finish what I started in May – without borrowing the book from the library or purchasing a copy.
    Yay me!

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