The Pearl

The Pearl

Book - 1986
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Publisher: New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1986, c1945.
ISBN: 9780670545759
0670545759
Branch Call Number: STEI
Characteristics: 90 p. ; 22 cm.

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smhgeo422
Aug 20, 2020

In The Pearl, John Steinbeck demonstrates that the success one may envision in his/her mind can be a disguise of unexpected downfall. Kino, the main character, serves as an example of how one can suffer through this theme. Kino, a man of lowly status, finds an unusually large pearl and attempts to sell it in order to provide his son a possibly brighter future. However, this pearl corrupts Kino, which instigates Kino’s transformation that the main plot of the story revolves around.
Juana, Kino’s wife, out of utter desperation, tries to persuade Kino to give up his quixotic dreams; unsurprisingly, her actions are futile. Others who know Kino are dumbfounded by his new and foreign mindset that seems to be invaded by greed itself. As the story progresses, Kino endures a new set of unfamiliar hardships and pains but continues to be adamant about his goals.

I recommend it to ages 11 and up. I assume greed is a concept that is well-known and almost ubiquitous in children’s stories. It’s a book I would read twice, once as a student, once as an adult, to analyze different perspectives of greed. I wouldn’t say this story is the most “fun-read” out there, but I admit there are some very interesting portions to the plot. I give it a 4.5 stars out of 5.

l
leejuliet
Aug 04, 2020

The Pearl is an allegorical story written by John Steinbeck to reveal the evils of greed and haste. Kino was an ordinary man who lived by simple joy among his wife and his baby son. He enjoyed the accompaniment of nature along with the breeze and music it produced. One day, his son Coyotito was stung by a scorpion, and left the family in debt from medical bills they could not defay. The doctor constantly refused the misshapen rocks and gems Kino offered. As Kino swam and dived under deep shores to relieve himself, he discovered a gigantic pearl in the tides. He declared himself the most rich man in the world, and contemplated all that he could provide his family with the possession of the mineral. This discovery led to numerous robbery attempts as well as the development of Kino’s selfishness and aggression. Kino’s wife, Juana, persistently begged Kino to rid the pearl for their safety, but the determined and frustrated man declined. While escaping more criminals and hunters, the two parents had to suffer losses because of the greed people in the town had for the pearl. Thus, Kino learned about the dangers of being selfish and wanting.
This novel portrayed a significant moral that teaches readers to avoid being self-centered and focus on the present rather than counting the chickens before the eggs. Steinbeck improvised an amazing story that was both enticing and meaningful. The story had multiple vicious scenes, so I would recommend readers ages 13 and up to read it. This masterpiece deserves 5 stars for the plot itself and the moral we learn as we reach the end.

t
TheBorgQueen
Jul 24, 2020

The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, is a story about Kino, his wife Juana and his young son Coyotito. After Kino’s son gets a serious scorpion bite, the couple rush to the town doctor, hoping to get treatment. However, they are turned away, since they were poor and could not pay the price. In order to try and get enough money to pay for the treatment of their son, Kino and Juana rush out to sea to find pearls. While diving, Kino finds an incredible large pearl, and the neighborhood celebrates Kino and his family. The doctor treats Coyotito after hearing about the pearl, so Kino tries to go into town to sell the pearl to pay back the doctor. Unfortunately, the buyers refused to pay the fair price for the pearl, so Kino planned to go to the Capital. Some events ensue, causing the family to be on the run, with Kino still keeping the pearl, despite those around him saying that it is a bad omen.

This story is a classic story of a poor man turning rich and allowing greed to consume him. Although I do agree that greed is not a good thing and wealth is not the most important, I do not completely agree with the author’s portrayal of this message. Although Kino became greedy with the pearl, I do not think it is a sin to want a better life for you and your family. Kino just wanted to give his son a better life than what he was able to provide. Who could blame him for wanting to keep the pearl, which could launch him and his family out of poverty? The message about not allowing greed to consume you is a good one, however I do not think that making Kino seem like an evil character helps prove that point.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jul 02, 2020

The Pearl by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck begins with one of the most picturesque, idyllic scenes in literature: a young pearl diver Kino awaking at dawn, gazing lovingly at his wife Juana and their baby son Coyotito, listening to the sounds of the sea. Of course, then, with the entrance of a great pearl, things start spiraling downward. About halfway through the novella, it is already clear that Kino has lost more than what he can regain with the pearl. Yet what is it inside humans, whose greed Kino represents, that spurs them to keep going, in pursuit of something luring and foreign that has cost them so much already? The novella teaches that the ability to be content, the ability to restrain oneself in the possibility of more wealth, is incredibly difficult, perhaps impossible, to gain. I couldn’t help feeling personally afraid for Kino and his family, as he clung to the dreams that the pearl reflected for him, trying to convince himself that the pearl could help him gain back happiness. Simple yet powerfully written, The Pearl is a novella deserving of all its accolades, sharply insightful and wise especially in these times of increased wealth and greed. 5 stars out of 5 -@StarRead of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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wyenotgo
Jun 23, 2020

With apologies to all those eminent commentators (whose credentials in the judgment of literary merit greatly exceed my own) I beg to differ: Not on the merit of Steinbeck’s prose but on the validity of his parable. As with many folk tales or fables, this one is an over-simplification, focused only on its chosen message: the corrupting influence of wealth; that acquiring wealth will destroy a man. It’s a false concept. The prospect of wealth causes Kino only to dream of a better life for his infant son and he goes to great lengths in attempting to make that dream a reality. That desire does not corrupt Kino. He does NOT become an evil person!
The real story here is the corruption that already surrounds Kino and his little family and that corruption does not derive from the pearl; it was there to begin with and remains unchanged. The depth of the doctor’s corruption is truly monumental and disgusting. The fake pearl buyers are hardly any better. And of course wherever there’s the prospect of wealth, there are thieves.
So the tale becomes depressingly predictable. Kino and his family were, from the beginning, victims of a corrupt society and remain so. End of story. The pearl changes nothing.
Steinbeck, given his legendary skill, saves this fable from being a boring, formulaic read. He brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the pearl-fishers’ poverty-stricken little community. His characters resonate with humanity, one can feel them sweat and breathe in the tropical air. Only in his depiction of the doctor does Steinbeck overdo it, but that is forgivable; the story needs a true villain, so why not pull out all the stops!

1
1aa
Oct 28, 2019

A novella that has many aspects of the story undeveloped (like, where is the law? where and when did this occur?); the basic plot is rather stereotypical: a poor person suddenly gets rich (or in this case gets something of great economic value), and is beset by deceivers, thieves and thugs, the most heinous of which are the wealthy, with the upshot that wealth isn't all its cracked up to be, and it might be better to remain poor.

m
MKBrosnihan
Oct 26, 2019

Very good. Very sad but then show me a Steinbeck book that is happy. He writes about life not sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Life isn't happy and that what he writes about. very good!

t
Therru9
Jun 04, 2019

This book is LITERATURE, but it has quite a sad ending........
It does show what the thought of possible wealth can do to someone.
l do recommend it to people with a love of rich writing $.$
personally, l didn't really enjoy it, but it is something lots of other people would like ^-^

v
violet_dog_12420
Apr 22, 2019

has a really sad ending.

b
Bookworm1562
Apr 14, 2019

I marvel at Steinbeck's genius. Sure there are possible philosophical themes. But you can just enjoy his writing.

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smhgeo422
Aug 20, 2020

smhgeo422 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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violet_dog_12420
Dec 04, 2018

violet_dog_12420 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

BklynRakishaK Jun 13, 2016

BklynRakishaK thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

maroon_baboon_66 Aug 19, 2012

maroon_baboon_66 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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mauve_monkey_41
Jul 14, 2012

mauve_monkey_41 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 99

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yellow_whale_97
Jun 03, 2015

My son shall go to school

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