The Pearl


The Pearl
Title:
The title John Steinbeck gave to his novel, The Pearl, is significant to the meaning of the work. When you think of a pearl or any other kind of precious stone you think of the wealth and prosperity it could bring and the happiness that would follow. The title in itself is ironic because considering that a pearl is of great wealth, you would assume that it would also give great happiness. But, in this story that is not the case. Kino and his wife, Juana, was a poverty-stricken family until they found the great pearl. They had high hopes for their future and the future of their son. They could make their dreams come true and find a door out of their hard life. Their lives were changed because of the pearl, and in the end they found that the happiness they had before, was an even greater wealth than what they wished to have.

Opening Chapter:
The Pearl, from the beginning of the novel, is very fast paced. The scenes in the story, though short and simple, contain many facts and details that are important to the story. Due to the fact that there are not that many characters that have to be introduced in the first chapter as in other long novels which take a whole chapter to introduce characters, the introductions only take about three to four pages. Also, in the first chapter, the background is set: a poverty stricken village on the shore of an island and a wealthier town in the mainland. The conflict, which starts the plot of the story, is also present here: a scorpion has stung Coyotito, Kino?s son, and Kino need to find a pearl to pay the doctor to help them. This leads to the discovery of the great pearl.
The story starts on a beach where a poor village lies. Kino and his Family are living happily together and living just fine. Even though they don?t have everything in the world that they need or want, they remain happy. Through the progress of the story they gain hope and a way to get out of the poor life they are living. Also, though not knowing it, the doctor, that Kino and Juana went too see, had already sentenced their son to death; if he had helped them earlier, they would not have looked to the ocean and been led down the road to hardships. Kino and Juana think that wealth is the answer to all their problems. When they give up the pearl that they thought would help them, they returned to their ordinary lives except without the happiness they once had.
Kino, Juana, and Coyotito live satisfied with their lives in the poverty of their village. They don?t have the riches they need to get proper care for their son or anyone else, but they at least have each other. When they want to give this life for a better one, they have a price to pay. In the end they find that the life they strive for comes with a very big price which the pearl could not pay and they could not return to their previous way of life lacking the togetherness and happiness they once had.

The World of the Work:
The class of the characters in this work is not varying as in a lower, middle or upper class. In this novel there are only two classes: the lower and the upper. There is no real middle class or does not need to be presented in this story. The ideals and views that Steinbeck wants us to see are the major differences between the lower and upper classes of society. The class of the main character of The Pearl, Kino, is of the lower class side. He shares this class with his wife, Juana, his son, Coyotito, the rest of his poor village, and the peasants that populate the town. The other class is that of the rich. The doctor whom Kino wishes to see belongs to this class.
In the beginning, the values of Kino and Juana are very much alike. They share the same morals; they feel the same when it comes to the power of a woman. In their culture, women still don?t have power to do what they want or speak their ideas. It is a common