The Pearl (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Perfect Paperback – 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
Originally a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl, is simply more than a straightforward story of a man who finds a pearl. The Pearl is a powerful parable of inner struggle, greed, jealously, oppression, bravery and so much more. Steinbeck carefully weaves into his folk tale his own creative and personal style using vivid descriptions and strong metaphors. This book is a novel we should all live by. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.
Steinbeck sets the stage with a short, two-paragraph preface introducing the main characters: "Kino, the fisherman, .. his wife, Juana, and ... the baby, Coyotito." Steinbeck describes the story as "a parable" in which, "perhaps everyone takes his own meaning from it and reads his own life into it."
Kino, Juana and Coyotito are poor and and live in a simple thatched house. The baby is bitten by a scorpion and Kino and Juana become concerned for his life but have no money to pay a doctor. Kino miraculously finds a pearl of great worth and the couple dream of a better life. But from the outset, the pearl provokes jealousy and violence and leads to great unhappiness for the little family.
I was moved by the figures of song and music that appear throughout the story. We are told at the beginning that Kino's people "had been great makers of songs so that everything they saw or thought or did or heard became a song." Kino hears in his heart various songs throughout his book, the most important of which is the "Song of the Family" or the "Whole" which celebrates his life with his wife and baby.Read more ›
Thinking it to be the future source of his family's future health, comfort, happiness and peace, Kino seeks to sell it to the local pearl buyers who attempt to swindle him, offering only a fraction of its real value. When the pearl becomes the target of sneak thieves in the middle of the night, Kino kills the thief defending himself, his family and the pearl that is now the central focus of their lives.
Kino and Juana realize that the doctor, the priest and those already possessed of wealth in the town are angry that he should presume to step out of his station. While their friends, the other pearl fishermen, are happy for Kino's good fortune they are also jealous and convinced that Kino's sudden wealth will change him into a new person - a person that, in some fashion, will choose to distance himself from the people he formerly loved and valued.
Steinbeck's story writing skills are eloquent, compelling, and impossibly tight and concise but, at the same time, astonishingly profound and moving.Read more ›
There are many things that I liked about his writing. One was his style in describing characters. In the begginning of the novella he would describe the main characters as animals. But when the plot of the novella gets thicker, John Stienback would describe the chracters like Kino to man made objects. That was what I liked about his style of writing and these are the reasons I rated his novella a three.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is a reminder of what really matters most in life.
It shows how greed can take over a person's life;
how material possessions can change people. Read more
It is a jewel of a book.... everything that Steinbeck wrote is worth reading... as a matter of fact, I am rereading East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath because as you get older, you... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Claudette Hamel
This book was not any average happy ending fairytale anecdote. It was one that showed the true hardships in life, the violence, cruelty, and betrayal of the human race. Read morePublished 9 months ago by vasukie asirwatham
Fables allow us to tell simple stories that resonate in complex situations. The Pearl tells the tale of a poor pearl diver who finds a pearl of incredible value. Read morePublished 20 months ago by SnowPharoah
Steinbeck proves that morality tales don't have to be preachy and annoying in this fine, short work. The discovery of a highly valuable pearl unleashes a sequence if ugly events. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2013 by Rodge
Thank you for the fast shipping and the great condition. The book is great, very useful with my students! They've learned a lot!Published on Feb. 16 2012 by JP Morency