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Thepearl

THE PEARL

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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