THE PEARL A Review Essay Research Paper

THE PEARL: A Review Essay, Research Paper


The Pearl is a story about an Mexican Indian man and woman, set in the early to

mid-1900’s, in Bolivia. It was written by John Steinbeck as a short fiction

book that tells of the family’s life just before, during, and just after find a

great pearl. The book was an amazing and discussed many different ideas. The

main idea discussed is whether or not being rich is a good thing. The story

explained how everyone would like to be rich yet being rich has a lot of

unnecessary baggage that goes with it.

There are two major characters in this book. The first is a man named Kino. He

is a Mexican Indian of about 25-30 years. He lives in a fairly primitive

village among a similar group of Mexican Indians. They are a fishing village

and also dive for pearls. The second character is a woman named Juana. She is

his commonlaw wife, mother of his son, and better half. She supports everything

Kino does, and offers advice to him whenever he needs it. They have a son named

Coyotito who plays a minor role in the book but a very major part in their lives.

The book starts with Coyotito getting bit my a scorpion. The families needs to

see a doctor but the doctor won’t see them because they have no money. Kino

decides to go pearl hunting in an attempt to get some money. He dives and,

after removing some shells, catches a glimpse of something shiny out of the

corner of his eye. He removes the oyster that he saw the gleam from, and

returns to the surface. Inside the oyster he finds a huge pearl that becomes

known as, the Pearl of the World. Almost immediately there after, people try to

steal it. The doctor tries to steal it after giving the baby a medicine to make

it seem ill, however Kino wakes up and chases him away. The next morning, he

goes to town to try and sell the pearl but the prices he gets offered, he feels,

are to low. That night he gets attacked several more times and ends up killing

a man. The family is forced to flee after their house is burned down and their

floor is dug up. They cover their tracks very well but Kino notices a trio of

trackers following them. The family tries to outrun the trackers but they

cannot escape them. Kino finds some caves that they cannot me traced into and

decides to hide the family in there. He realizes that, in order to survive, he

must kill the trackers. While Kino gets in position to make his attack, the

baby begins to cry. The trackers hear it and, thinking it might be a coyote,

fire a rifle at it. Later we find out that they killed Coyotito with that blast.

Kino leaps out and kills all three trackers. The family returns to their

village without Coyotitio and throw that evil pearl back into the sea. There

the story ends.

The major idea of the book was that money or riches isn’t always a good thing.

Life was good for the family before the pearl. Things weren’t perfect but they

were much better before they found the pearl than after. In the beginning, the

family was on a routine and everyone was pretty much happy. When Coyotitio was

bitten by the scorpion, Juana sucked most of the poison out and it looked like

he was going to survive. However, they weren’t totally sure and wished to seek

the reassurance of a doctor. When they went to the doctor’s house, they were

turned away, the obvious reason was because they had no money, although it was

not the reason given. They decided they needed money, so Kino went diving for

pearls. When he found this huge pearl, at first their luck was good, Coyotito

seemed much better, but as time progressed, things got much worse. People were

continually trying to take advantage of Kino and Juana for their pearl and

several times Kino was attacked and searched. Juana recognized what the pearl

represented and tried to throw it away. Kino hit her in her face and kicked her

in her side when he caught her, he was blinded by the riches. Not more than a

minute later, he was attacked and ended up killing a man. If they had not found

the pearl, Coyotito would most likely have not died, Kino would not have been

beaten up, and he would have never hit the woman he loved. The pearl made him

make all sorts of wild plans of what he was going to do with the money from the

pearl. This went against his gods and against his morals because, once a plan

is made, it can never be broken. This left only his family and his mind to be

destroyed in efforts to reach his plan. After his house is burned down, he

begins to believe he is only the pearl, for it has destroyed everything else.

Without the pearl, probably none of this would have every happened and, most

likely, Coyotito would still be alive.

This was a very good book. It was fairly short yet it covered an amazing amount

of material. The author developed his theme better than any other author in any

other book I have read. The entire book was dedicated to his one theme. Every

situation and every quotation was related to his theme in some way or another.

The author used a lot of good description, describing exactly how Kino was

feeling at any certain time. It also described his hunches, how when evil was

around he heard the song of evil or when he was in the presence of the pearl, he

heard the song of the pearl. Kino’s values differ slightly from mine but when I

was reading the book I was feeling how Kino was feeling, the whole way through.

If the author wanted to make the book a little bit better, I would like him to

elaborate more on situations like when Kino is at the pearl buyer. He describes

it very well from Kino’s point of view, but I would like to know what the pearl

buyer was thinking. There were indications of how impressed the pearl buyer was,

but you had to guess at what they really meant. I agree with the author’s theme

and the way he showed it. Money is not everything its cracked up to be. Its

nice to be able to have anything you want but there’s always people trying to

take that money away from you. If all people were honest, I believe much less

people would be rich but that’s another story. Kino was very honest and because

he was, people tried to cheat him out of his riches. He had to fight against

the entire corrupted system, in order to begin to achieve what he wanted, and

all that did was get him in more trouble. There are very few people who can

successful maintain a rich status through honesty. This is only in the monetary

status though, many people, including Kino, are rich in life. This is the best

type of richness and usually, monetary rich people are very poor in life. Kino

was rich even though he didn’t know it.


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