Free Book Report The Pearl by John Steinbeck
In John Steinbeck's The Pearl, a destitute pearl diver finds a giant pearl with which
he hopes to buy peace and happiness for his family. Instead, he learns that the valuable pearl
can not buy happiness but only destroy his simple life. Throughout the fable, there is a
constant theme woven through the characters and setting which encompasses the struggle
among social classes to become successful. Steinbeck, a novelist known for his realistic
depictions of life, portrays this motif through Kino, the doctor, Coyotito, and the town of La
John Earnst Steinbeck, author of The Pearl and many other stories, was born on
February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California. Both his father, who ran a flour mill, and his
mother, a teacher, encouraged him to write once they saw his early interest in literature.
Steinbeck began his career by writing articles for his school newspaper and by taking classes
at Stanford University. At the same time, he worked at a local ranch where he witnessed the
harsh treatment of migrant workers. These underpriveleged laborers later served as the
inspiration for many of his novels, including The Grapes of Wrath. The Pearl, another
inspiration from his past, originated from a legend about the misfortunes of a poor boy who
found a giant pearl that was told to Steinbeck while on a trip to Mexico.
Kino, the protagonist in The Pearl, is an honest pearl diver that discovers the
sacrifices that come with the struggle for success. He dreams of the education the pearl
could provide for his son, but the pearl also makes Kino more suspicious of the peaceful
villagers around him. At one point, he tries to sell the pearl in order to pay for a doctor
Coyotito needs, but the pearl buyers only try to cheat him of the success he feels he deserves.
Then Kino tries to leave the town, but his fear only causes him to shoot Coyotito
accidentally. Finally, Kino returns to La Paz and throws the pearl into the sea. Kino, a
symbol of hard work and ambition, is destroyed by his dreams of a better life.
The town doctor also demonstrates how the struggle for success can corrupt people.
This "healer" is more interested in money than the welfare of others. While drinking
expensive tea out of tiny china cups, he sits in his large white house and dreams of returning
to Paris. When Juana comes to ask if he will treat Coyotito's scorpion sting, he promptly
sends her promptly away. However, when news of Kino's discovery reaches the doctor, he
rushes to the family's grass hut. Once there, he makes Coyotito sick so that he may cure the
infant and squeeze a portion of the pearl's wealth from the family. This disgraceful doctor
represents the arrogance of the powerful towards the powerless.
Coyotito, though only an infant, is also a very important symbol of the struggle for
success. An innocent victim of greed, he knows nothing more comforting than the simple life
he spends in his wooden crib and in his mother's arms. Yet, the pearl and the possibilities it
offers threaten and eventually take his life. Because of his poverty, he is refused treatment
for a scorpion sting, and beacuse of his fimily's wealth he is made sick by a greedy doctor.
Finally, the pearl costs little Coyotito his life when Kino accidentally thinks his eyes are
those of trackers coming to take the pearl.
Even the town of La Paz gives evidence of the strife that costs the life of a child.
Located on the coast of Mexico, most of the Indians in this town are merely fishermen trying
to feed their families. These people are constantly taken advantage of by traders that come.
Unfortunately, they can do nothing, or their families will lose business. For the people, there
is a struggle each day just to make ends meet. However, their grass and mud huts clash with
the stone and plaster city of the rich. It is through the city of stone and plaster that Juana must
boldly journey through to ask the doctor for help. The huts battle to enter the boundaries of
the rich, just as Kino fights the boundaries of social stratification.
Through the struggles that Kino faces, he reveals the conflicts between the rich and
the poor. Coyotito teaches the reader how innocent bystanders can suffer, and the doctor
shows what type of people could do such a thing. Through these characters and the town of
La Paz, Steinbeck informs his reader that wealth and happiness do not always come together,
and that being wealthy does not mean everything. Most importantly, he shows that the
struggle to become successful can destroy one's initial dreams. Kino finally realizes the
worthlessness of the pearl after Coyotito's death and as Steinbeck writes: "And in the
surface of the pearl he saw Coyotito laying in the cave with his head shot away. And the
pearl was ugly; it was gray, like a malignant growth...And Kino drew back his arm and flung
the pearl with all his might."
|1. The Pearl: Summary
The novella The Pearl is a story about greed , corruption, and good against evil. The story starts out with a poor indian pearl diver named Kino, who lives on the Baja penninsula . He lives with his
2. The Pearl
starts off with a poor family that runs into a problem. The problem is that their son Coyotito got bit by a posinous snake and they need money so that the doctor will treat him. Kino, the father,
3. Compare And Contrast On Characters Rayona And Pearl
Rayona and Pearl were two characters that were very alike in the stories. They are also somewhat different. They lived lives that were very troublesome. Rayona had to go through the tough times of
4. Compare And Contrast On Characters Rayona And Pearl
Rayona and Pearl were two characters that were very alike in the stories. They are also somewhat different. They lived lives that were very troublesome. Rayona had to go through the tough times o
5. The Scarlet Letter: Much Symbolism
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6. The Scarlet Letter - Pearl Bel
Pearl could, or could not be a believable character in The Scarlet Letter depending on how the reader interprets Pearls? actions and speech. I plan to prove that Pearl could be believable, and that s
7. Compare And Contrast On The Pe
According to The Pearl, the Indians and the Caucasians had the same plans of their own if they owned the pearl. The pearl meant wealth for the Indians. To the whites the pearl meant more power and we
8. Dinner At The Homesick Restaur
English Essay - ant ‘To what extent are Ezra and Pearl the victims and/or the heroes of the novel?’ I think Ezra and Pearl are both victims and heroes of the novel. Both looking after the
9. The Pearl By Steinbeck
George Bernard Shaw once said, "There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it." This quote is saying that when some people gain their heart's desire
10. The Pearl: Notes Chapter 3
1. Priest-he thought of the repairs the church needed, and wondered if he had baptized Coyotito, in if he had married Kino and Juana. Shopkeepers- They thought about men's clothing that had not sold
11. Scarlet Letter-the Sides Of A
The Sides of the Characters of the Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote the book in the times of the puritans in the 1600’s. The Characters of the book include Hester Prynne, Pearl, Revere
12. Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter is a book of much symbolism. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the book is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. Pearl, throughout the story, develops into a
13. The Scarlett Letter
The Scarlet Letter is a book of much symbolism. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the book is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. Pearl, throughout the story, develops into
14. The Pearl Essay
Can materialism corrupt and destroy? In the novel The Pearl, Stienbeck shows how materialism can corrupt and destroy. For example, Kino hitting his wife Jauna, the doctor poisons the baby and the jew
15. The Pearl
This book is about a pearl diver named Kino. He and his wife and son are a poor family. When his son becomes ill, Kino takes to the sea on a quest to find some way to save his son. He finds a magn
16. Dimmsdale's Redemption
The Romantic Period is considered one of the most meaningful turning points in the history of literature. Authors of this time spent their labors attempting to produce works that offer the reader an
17. The Scarlet Letter: Hester And Her Daughter Are Isolated From Society
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne and her daughter Pearl are isolated from society; this is shown by where they live, the action from people toward Pearl and Pearl's reaction
18. The Pearl: Notes Chapter 2
The Pearl Study Guide questions, Chapter 2 1. The people learned not believe their eyes, because they could not tell what was really there. They expected all places to be like this. 2. Kino's canoe w
19. The Pearl 2
In The Pearl, by John Steinbech, evil transforms certain humble citizens into envious savages. Evil was exhibited by the doctor who refused to treat Coyotito because his parents had no money. Whe
20. The Pearl: Evil
In The Pearl, by John Steinbech, evil transforms certain humble citizens into envious savages. Evil was exhibited by the doctor who refused to treat Coyotito because his parents had no money. When