“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.