Read The Pearl by John Steinbeck José Clemente Orozco Online


When Kino, an India pearl-diver, finds the pearl of the world, he believes that his life will be magically transformed. He will marry Juana and their little boy Coyotito will be able to attend school. But, obsessed by his dreams, Kino is blind to the greed and fear the pearl arouses....

Title : The Pearl
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140292930
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 96 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Pearl Reviews

  • Brina
    2019-03-26 02:17

    John Steinbeck's chilling novella The Pearl is the short story selection in the group catching up on classics for January 2017. In his retelling of a Mexican folktale, Steinbeck tells the tale of a fisherman named Kino who finds the pearl of the world on one of his dives. Showing how money is the root of all evil, Steinbeck delivers a poignant tale. First published in 1945, The Pearl is the story of Kino, Juana, and their baby Coyotito who one day discover a giant pearl on one of their fishing expeditions. All of a sudden, their entire village measures time against when Kino found his pearl. Even though fish and pearls are the source of Kino's livelihood each member of the village desires part of his newfound wealth. Rather than congratulating him on his prized discovery, each villager offers their unique suggestion as to how Kino should spend his winnings. Tragedy strikes. Coyotito is bitten by a scorpion, and Kino and Juana rush to town in attempt to persuade the doctor to treat their child. In a situation permeated with racism, the doctor of Spanish descent refuses to treat the apparent Native American Kino unless he comes up with substantial monetary payment. The only item of value that Kino possesses is the pearl, and he assures the doctor that he will be rewarded once the pearl given to brokers. Just like the doctors, the pearl brokers attempt to swindle Kino. Even though Kino has large dreams of what to do with his money, tragedies continue to befall him throughout the novella. Juana urges him to rid himself of this object that is clearly an agent of the devil. Through this folk tale, Steinbeck conveys that money is the root of all evils in the world. Underlying is a message of socialism, which was the world's response to the fascist dictators defeated in World War II. Although Steinbeck's skills as a master storyteller are evident in this novella, The Pearl does not resonate with me the way it does with others. At first I was elated that a poor villager found a jewel that could turn his life around only to see him face tragic tests. A literary masterpiece that should be read nonetheless, I rate The Pearl 4 stars- 5 for Steinbeck's prose and story telling skills, and 2.5-3 for a story that does not captivate me enough as perhaps it should.

  • Matthew
    2019-04-07 00:18

    Steinbeck does it again. All my experiences with his writings have been fantastic. Every word, every description, every plot point, every twist - perfect!The Pearl is very short but very amazing. It is a tale of greed and how people around wealth or who come upon sudden wealth are affected. Many of us think our life would be perfect if we won the lottery, but I think all of us could benefit from the lessons in this story.I picked this book now because I am on vacation in Hatteras, NC, and the locations along the sea seemed like they would blend well with my surroundings. I was correct! Many key scenes occur at or in the ocean, and reading this while my toes were in the surf added so much to the atmosphere.Do yourself a favor and take a quiet afternoon, get away to somewhere (a beach if possible), and read The Pearl. Your literary senses will thank you!

  • Cecily
    2019-03-25 18:29

    “It was a morning like other mornings and yet perfect among mornings.”This novella opens with the simple contentment of a young Mexican pearlfisher: at peace with his life, wife, and baby, living in a tightknit community, and accompanied by the “Song of the Family” that plays in his mind.Pearls, by contrast, are a consequence of imperfection - possibly of pain or discomfort. But from the irritation caused by stray sand, rare transfixing beauty can occur. Unlike gold and diamonds, a pearl needs no finishing, and yet its allure arises from its imperfections: the shifting elusiveness of the watery light it exudes, the unexpectedly grainy surface, the not-quite spherical shape, and the glowing warmth it imparts to eye and skin. Be Careful What You Wish ForQuiet contentment would not make much of a story. But wherein lies the greater danger: a scorpion, poised to pounce on a resting babe, or a huge pearl that could pay for school, and thus enable little Coyotito to “break out of the pot that holds us in”?There is mystical hope when “the need was great and the desire was great”, but beware, “It is not good to want a thing too much.”Oyster being opened, source here.Fortune shines. “In the surface of the great pearl he could see dreams forming.”Fortune is fickle. “The pearl has become my soul”. Wealth brings power, and power tends to corrupt. What once offered warm lucent promise turns “gray and ulcerous”. The possession possesses him. Ultimately, this is a story of sacrifice - specifically, of choosing what and when to surrender. Make the wrong choice, and you risk losing everything. Story in SongThe people of the Gulf of California had songs for everything, though maybe only Kino hears them now. The story is encapsulated in the evolving sequence of songs (minor spoilers implied): * “Clear and soft… The Song of the Family.”* “The Song of Evil… a savage, secret, dangerous melody, and underneath, the Song of the Family cried plaintively.”* “A secret little inner song… sweet and secret and clinging, almost hiding in the counter-melody, and this was the Song of the Pearl That Might Be.”* “The music of the pearl had merged with the music of the family so that one beautified the other.”* “The music of evil, of the enemy sounded, but it was faint and weak.” * “The music of the pearl was triumphant… and the quiet melody of the family underlay it.”* “The music of the pearl had become sinister… and it was interwoven with the music of evil.”* “The Song of the Family had become as fierce and sharp and feline as the snarl of a female puma.“* “The Song of the Family was as fierce as a cry… a battle cry.”* “The music of the pearl, distorted and insane.”* “The music of the pearl drifted to a whisper and disappeared.”Faith… in What?Kino and Juana blend belief systems: ancient magic invocations, Hail Marys and prayers, and a resentful faith in the knowledge and consequent power of white settlers. A traditional remedy might be as effective as one from the doctor, but “lacked his authority because it was simple and didn't cost anything.”For those raised on Bible stories, it’s impossible to read this without thinking of the pearl of great price, the desire for which Jesus likened to the Kingdom of Heaven:“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45 - 46 (KJV)But it’s an oft-misquoted proverb that comes more sadly and strongly to mind:“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV)For the mere prospect of great wealth changes priorities, changes people - for ever. Transfiguration is not always for the better. And the Moral Is...Unlike a traditional parable or morality tale, there is no explicit teaching point, not even a clear ending. Just a new, stark, and very uncertain beginning.“Oyster Pearl,” Hawaii, by Anna. Licensed under CC By 2.0.Steinbeck’s PhilosophySteinbeck distanced himself from Christianity over the years, and atheists sometimes claim him as their own. The Bible was certainly part of his heritage, but broader, non-sectarian social justice permeates his works. Of particular relevance to this novella:* Steinbeck grew up in California, and was always interested in Mexican culture around him.* His concern for the poor and marginalised is reflected in his writings. * He was shocked by race riots in his easygoing state, and wrote this two years later.* He was also reeling from the success and infamy of Grapes of Wrath.* This was written with the intention of its being filmed for and by Mexicans. And it was.* Steinbeck studied marine biology at university (but didn’t complete the course).Quotes* “The uncertain air that magnified some things and blotted out others… so that all sights were unreal and vision could not be trusted.”* “There is no almsgiver in the world like a poor man who is suddenly lucky.”* “So lovely it was, so soft, and its own music came from it - its music of promise and delight, its guarantee of the future, of comfort, of security. Its warm lucence promised a poultice against illness and a wall against insult. It closed a door on hunger.”* “The sky was brushed clean by the wind and the stars were cold in a black sky.”* “The land was waterless, furred by the cacti.”* In the desert, “pools were places of life because of the water, and places of killing because of the water, too.”* “He had lost one world and had not gained another.”Neil Gaiman's take on PearlsIn American Gods, Gaiman says we insulate ourselves from the tragedies of others: “we build a shell around it like an oyster dealing with a painful particle of grit... This is how we walk and talk and function... immune to others' pain and loss.” See my review HERE.

  • Henry Avila
    2019-03-24 01:18

    Innocence turning to greed, and how people react to another man's good fortune, is the major theme of John Steinbeck's popular novella, The Pearl, set apparently in the early 20th century, ( the author is rather vague on the subject) in the then small, sleepy town, now a major city of La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, near the tip of the astonishing long peninsula, 775 miles ...Our main character is Kino, a young, poor Mexican man in his early 20's of Indian extraction, living in a remote part of the quiet city, on the beach in the Gulf of California or the Sea of Cortez, ( Senor Cortes would not recognize the anglicized spelling ) pick your choice. His under the mangroves, flimsy brush house has three inside, the pearl diver, his wife Juana, not official, their first an only child a son, the baby Coyotito, he loves his family, and the neighbors, an uneducated, superstitious group, as destitute as he, yet a great generous "tribe" , who have been exploited for 400 years by the European conquerors. A tragic almost fatal occurrence happens and the very concerned parents , go on a desperate quest to see the only local doctor, a rare visit, they know his reputation, a racist that considers the indigenous, animals, doesn't work for free, will he treat their much cherished boy ? The whole neighborhood follows including his older brother Juan Tomas and wife Apolonia, it is quite a sight the whole town stares at the procession , mesmerized by the strange parade of the impoverished in the early morning light...Arriving and the expected, no money, no medicine, so the couple comes back home and pray for the best, to Jesus or the gods, Juana does both. Life must continue however, Kino and Juana push their old, much repaired canoe, that was his grandfather's into the calm, warm green gulf waters, swiftly jump in and paddle vigorously until they reach the pearl beds below...Kino can stay under for two minutes, he has a knife for prying open the oysters and two ropes, one attached to a basket for the would be, precious mineral and the other a rock to send the skilled diver to the bottom of the ocean quickly...It will change the way people treat the poor Indian , later his astounded friends will call it, The Pearl of the World, a huge iridescent object as big as a seagull's egg, men have killed for less, they try to cheat Kino, steal, deceive, destroy his whole family he must leave and seek a honest person to buy the pearl in a large city, Coyotito, needs to go to school, be baptized, fine clothes for Juana, get married in the Church, a rifle for himself, away from the evil surrounding him, the happy songs will not be sung , the little family walks away into an uncertain destiny , the black night grows thicker, and the evil will follow...John Steinbeck's wonderful fable, simple in plot with a few characters involved in the story yet they are enough to articulate his views of the corruption of the individual when avarice consumes a man's soul and the endless cruelty inflicted on others to achieve his unsavory goal... sad but true.

  • Dolors
    2019-04-19 02:33

    “They had made songs to the fishes, to the sea in anger and to the sea in calm, to the light and the dark and the sun and the moon, and the songs were all in Kino and in his people – every song that had ever been made, even the ones forgotten.”Can you hear it? A melody shrouded in ancestral mystery can be heard amidst the roaring waves lapping at the shores of this pulsating narration. Summoning songs of despair and songs of hope, soothing lullabies and wrathful incantations, this folkloric tale unfolds between oscillating paeans to love and hate, repression and freedom, good and evil and ponders about the thin line separating the power of dreams from blinding ambition.The ritualistic tradition of simply drawn characters and linear storytelling becomes even more distinctive in this novelette, in which Steinbeck’s unpretentious lyricism blends with the gist of thought and spirit.A pearl of unparalleled beauty disrupts the life of a humble fisherman and his family and leads them to a fatal outcome following the style of classical tragedies. The impossibility of defeating fatum, that adverse destiny that enslaves mankind with the manacles of greed and pride and nurtures self-destruction is the beguiling voice and true protagonist of the story. On this occasion, lethal music embodies what is common in John Steinbeck’s books: a criticism of social injustices, a history built on rulers and subjugated, abuse and spoliation, illusion and treachery.But the dominating melody of the author’s outspoken nonconformity is not what stayed with me after I turned the last page of this slim volume. For it is in the nacreous surface, in the seductive roundness of the pearl where the real dilemma arises. Is purity of beauty more deadly than the venom of a scorpion? Is man unworthy of divine exquisiteness?Can you hear the echo of deception that hides behind the mask of flawless perfection?Steinbeck did. And so he wrote a song to exorcise mankind’s despair after realizing he can’t capture the beauty of the world neither with melodies nor with poetry. It is only the reflection of his own shadows that he is after.“If this story is a parable, perhaps everyone takes his own meaning from it and reads his own life into it.”One can only hope for fleeting moments of bliss when the vertiginous currents of poetry wash away the mediocrity of existence and cruelty is smothered with tenderness and the song of doom is interrupted by the purity of silence. Can you hear it?Steinbeck could.

  • brian
    2019-04-09 20:17

    goodreads david writes this: I'm convinced that the general besmirchers of Steinbeck are fucktards, asswads, and vibrating's nice as a reader (bad, i guess, as a reviewer) when a writer achieves can-do-no-wrong status. reading steinbeck i feel less distance between the writer -> his words -> myself than with nearly any other writer. his prose stylings can't touch his contemporaries, his structure and pacing can be sloppy, he's sentimental, preachy, overly didactic, and his themes arrive with the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the kneecaps. but who gives a shit? i'm not grading a paper. he gets an A+ and a gold star at the top of his paper for cannery row, possibly the most complete and interesting fictional world i've encountered; travels with charley, my all-time favorite travelogue; and grapes of wrath, a flawed but incredibly moving masterpiece. and the pearl... a clumsy and sweet fable, overwrought and obvious -- definitely a lesser work. but it's steinbeck writing and he's filled with such love for mankind, wonder at nature, and joy at the strange eccentric and eclectic that, even if upon reading the remainder of his writings i find the literary equivalent of sex with goodreads david... steinbeck remains untouchable.

  • Cindy Newton
    2019-03-31 02:22

    This is a deceptively simple Mexican fable. It's written by Steinbeck, so of course, it's written beautifully. The story is pretty straightforward--poor, uneducated peasant finds monster pearl and now has everything previously denied to him within his grasp. Or does he?*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***Kino is happy despite his poverty and his low position on the social scale. He and the other natives in his village are under the control of the wealthy Spanish people who have taken up residence in the nicer part of town. The wealthy Spanish people live comfortably in their brick and plaster houses, exercising an iron control over the laws and economics of the town, while Kino and his ilk live in brush huts. Kino, however, is happily married to Juana, and they are both content in their relationship and with their beloved first-born son, Coyotito. The serpent enters their tropical Eden in the form of a scorpion that stings the baby--a possible death sentence. When the Spanish doctor refuses to treat him because of their poverty, Kino goes pearl-diving, laboring under tremendous emotional agony. He finds a large, obviously old oyster, and it yields a magnificent pearl--the pearl of the world. It is at this moment, when Fate drops a fortune into Kino's hands, that his real troubles begin.Okay, so as we follow Kino through the increasing complexity of the problems that develop as a result of his ownership of this pearl, many issues are raised. What, exactly, is Steinbeck saying? The old adage, "Be careful what you wish for," comes to mind, and is certainly apropos. I have read that some see this as a critique of capitalism and the American Dream. Certainly Kino seems to have achieved the American Dream when that pearl drops into his hand. But that dream, his good fortune, is ruthlessly hunted and destroyed, piece by piece, by faceless individuals who could be anyone--his friends, his neighbors, or the greedy members of the wealthy community. So Steinbeck could be saying that the American Dream is a myth, that the system is stacked against those who need it the most. What about capitalism? Under the principles of capitalism, Kino should have been rewarded for bringing such a rare, desirable object into the marketplace. Instead, it is treated with contempt by those who should have been most interested in acquiring it. In reality, true capitalism was never really at play. There was no competition; the market was controlled by one person. So is Steinbeck saying that capitalism, too, is a myth? That human corruption will always interfere with the free and unimpeded flow of the marketplace?Greed is condemned in all forms, and everyone seems to feel it. After the news of Kino's find circulates, various people all start calculating how his profits can personally affect them. The doctor belatedly hurries to the side of the baby, eager to charge exorbitant fees for his assistance; the priest begins to mull pressuring Kino to donate to the church for repairs; and even the town beggars begin to anticipate Kino's generosity to them. But is Kino guilty of greed, as well? Is he reaching for too much, demanding too much, of life? He is certainly punished for attempting to have more.I teach my students that in order to determine the themes of a text, you look at what happens to the main characters. By any interpretation, the themes of this story are bleak. Either Kino allows the pearl to give him delusions of grandeur that cause him to attempt to fly too close to the sun, and, like Icarus, tumble to his doom, or Kino is an example of how a poor, uneducated person has no chance of prevailing against the system and bettering his life in any way. Not only will he not be permitted to move up, but he will be severely punished for the attempt. I personally believe it is the latter theme that is best supported by the text, but I don't believe it is a true statement about the condition of the American Dream in our country today. While breaking free of poverty is difficult to do and is a complex issue, I do not believe that people attempting to do so are faced with certain defeat, as Kino was. There are people who accomplish it, so it is doable.Steinbeck, like Charles Dickens, used his writing to fight fiercely for the rights of the poor and downtrodden, and I think that the enduring nature of their works are a testament to how very effective they were.

  • Issa Deerbany
    2019-04-06 02:30

    من اروع ما فرأت ، هل كانت اللؤلؤة تحمل اغنية الشيطان كما عبر عنها المؤلف.الفقير، الصياد الباحث عن الآليء الذي لا يملك علاج ابنه يعثر على لؤلؤة وجد فيها فرصته وفرصة ابنه في حياة حريمه وأهمها التعليم وإعلان زواجه في الكنيسة.فجأة زاره القس والطبيب الذي رفض علاج ابنه تغيرت نظرة الناس له .وأكنه من الهنود سكان المكسيك الأصليين الذين منذ ٤٠٠ عاما تعودوا على الطاعه فهذا هو نظام الحياة وتآمروا عليه بسعر اللؤلؤة ولكنه تمرد وأعلن هدم الطاعه.أراد ان يتشبث بحقك في حياة كريمة ، رغم محاولة زوجته التخلص منها بعد محاولات لسرقتها ودفاع مستميت من زوجها.صراع انساني داخلي عميق بين التطلع للمستقبل الغامض او الرضى والقناعة بحياته البسيطة.ما عجبني في الرواية ان المؤلف يقوم بوصف دقيق للأماكن والجو السائد كإنه يعد مسرحا وعليك الانتظار لتشاهد الحدث الكبيراعتقد انها تستحق اكثر من ٥ نجمات.

  • Mario
    2019-03-22 19:25

    Overall, it's just not very good. I keep debating whether I should rate it one star or two, but ultimately the Goodreads definition of the two-star rating, "it was ok," pushes me over the edge. It wasn't ok; nothing about this was ok.The writing style is bad, though I haven't read enough Steinbeck to know whether his stilted, awkward prose is just an affectation for this work (in an insulting attempt to illustrate that his main characters are poorly educated), or whether he is just always like this. His treatment of his characters is truly awful. Steinbeck strikes me as the worst kind of liberal; he's full of compassion for the circumstances of his characters, but that compassion never rises above the level that any of us would have for a sick animal. At least in this work, he seems like the kind of person who loves the poor, but only for the fact that they're poor. In short, he doesn't seem to think of his characters as people, just creatures buffeted by terrible circumstances.And the moral of the story is nearly reprehensible, to the extent that it makes any sense. The reason bad things are happening to these poor creatures? They wanted a better life. Steinbeck seems to be saying, "don't try to do anything to improve yourselves, and you certainly should never dream. Be satisfied with where you are, because trying only leads to failure." If his moral were something like "money doesn't bring happiness" it would be fine, but this is more insidious, because he never even gives his characters the option of being poor and happy. His choice is a stark "poor and miserable" or "poorer and more miserable." I can just see Steinbeck rewriting the Horatio Alger stories: a sad, poor boy tries to pull himself up by his bootstraps, but the bootstraps snap, and he falls off a cliff, breaks his neck at the bottom, and his corpse is eaten by syphilitic bears.If you like heavy-handed stories with a poor moral sense and bad writing... you can still do better than "The Pearl."

  • MohammedAli
    2019-03-23 02:11

    اللؤلؤلة .. رائعة شتاينباك .وفجأة .. الآن بين يديك الوسيلة لتحقيق حلمك، وفجأة .. أنت الآن تنظر بعينين زائغتين، تنظر إلى الماضي وهو يختلط بالمستقبل، ما كان حلما سيصير حقيقة، تزدحم داخلك الخواطر فتعبر الأمنيات من الماضي إلى المستقبل وتختلط وتتداخل فيغدوا الماضي وهما كأنّه لم يكن ويغدوا المستقبل حقيقة كأنّه لم يكن من قبل رسما على خيال، وفجأة .. بين يديك الآن تذكرة تقلّك من وإلى .. من حالة إلى حالة .. من وضعية إلى وضعية .. من ظرف إلى ظرف .. من فقر إلى غنى .. من شقاء إلى راحة .. من حلم إلى واقع مستقبلي مبني على معطيات هذا الحلم، وفجأة .. تتذكر أنّ الأعين كلّها ستصوب نحوك، وأنّك لن تكون ذلك النكرة الذي كنته من قبل، وفجأة .. ستعرف أن باب الشيطان قد انفتح اتجاهك، وأن الحسد، والحقد، والإستغلال ستكون أبرز ملامح هذا الباب المفتوح .. فهل ستقاتل حتى النهاية ؟ وهل ستتحمل وتتمرد على كافة التقاليد وتناضل من أجل ذلك ؟ وإلى أي مدى تستطيع الصمود وسط عواصف الحياة المرعدة ؟ ... هذه هي قصة اللؤلؤلة.أحب هذا النوع من القصص، القصص البسيطة، العميقة، الغريبة، والجذابة جدا .. ولكن ما عشقته هنا صراحة هو الأسلوب، ذلك الأسلوب الذي اكتشفته في رواية " صورة دوريان غراي " للمشاكس أوسكار وايلد، وصادفته في هذه القصة المطولة، ذلك الأسلوب الذّي يجمع بين ثنائية العمق والوصف، فقرات صعبة بحوارات كثيفة وأحداث مثيرة تعصر عقل القارئ وتجعله مركزا، فاتحا عينيه محملقا ومبحلقا في الجمل، معيدا قراءة بعض العبارات، يتوغل ويغوص في المعاني، يحاول قراءة الأسطر وما بين الأسطر وما تحت الأسطر، وتتلوا هذه الفقرات العصيبة الرائعة والجميلة فقرات ساحرة من الوصف البديع والساحر، كأن الكاتب يخاطب القارئ فيقول له: " ارتاح قليلا وتخيل كثيرا. " فتعود العروق النافرة على الجباه إلى طبيعتها، وترتسم على العيون نظرة الإرتياح، ويتحول داخل القارئ إلى جو يشبه الأجواء التي تتلوا العواصف من هدوء وسكينة، ويسرح الخيال في الوصف .. وهكذا دواليك، تتوالى الفقرات ما بين عمق ووصف، ثنائية تشد القارئ وتجذبه، ثنائية المد والجزر، ثنائية العقل والقلب، ثنائية المنطق والعواطف ..قصة قصيرة رائعة وساحرة أرشحها لكل شخص لم يقرأ قصة أو رواية منذ وقت طويل، وأرشحها أيضا لمحبّي هذا النوع من الأسلوب.

  • Fernando
    2019-04-03 18:30

    Qué hermoso libro. Una historia sencilla, narrada en forma clara, sin rodeos ni términos difíciles. Steinbeck logra atraparme siempre con sus libros. Al igual que como con "De Ratones y Hombres", "La Perla" nos muestra una historia en donde apreciamos la naturaleza humana al desnudo, las emociones a flor de piel en situaciones límites. No he leído "Las Uvas de la Ira" ni "Al Este del Edén", pero siento que Steinbeck es poderoso en este tipo de novelas cortas. En este libro todo gira alrededor de esa perla, cuya "canción", como él la denomina, comienza a infectar el alma de Kino ("porque esa perla ha llegado a ser mi alma, dice Kino. Si me desprendo de ella, pierdo mi alma"), ese pescador afortunado (¿afortunado?) por el descubrimiento de la gema que busca la felicidad a partir de él. Kino y Juana junto con Coyotito emprenden una travesía al estilo Sam y Frodo con una perla en vez de un anillo, pero no hacen falta 700 interminables páginas para describir la travesía, no hace falta describir enredos agotadores para lograr un efecto maravilloso en el lector. Tan sólo un objeto, una perla, que nos pregunta a todos, al narrador, los personajes y al lector: ¿tú, qué harías ante una oportunidad así?Para Kino es una bendición, para Juana, una maldición y para nosotros, los lectores, una maravillosa historia.

  • Julie
    2019-04-16 18:34

    So, John Steinbeck and his editor walk into a bar. . . (disclaimer: I'm making this up) and John's editor says, "John, it's so bor-ing being your editor. I mean, you've written the Great American novel, you've won the Pulitzer, you've fought for the poor man, you've made your fiction read like non-fiction and your non-fiction read like fiction."John lights a smoke, takes a slug of beer, grunts. Reports from the war hum from a radio at the bar and his editor finds the courage to continue. "Well. So, maybe, you know, it would be funny (ha ha ha), if you could take a story, a legend you know, and make it real. Take a legend, maybe from an ancient people, and make it a vehicle for the entire human condition. Throw in all of the good stuff: light versus dark, good versus evil, man versus man, man versus God. Add a few archetypes, some symbolism, a few more themes. Keep your characters limited AND, oh, yeah, here's the real kicker. . . keep it under 100 pages."John looks up from his beer, wonders if he can hear a score on the game. He looks over briefly at the editor."Yeah. I'll do her. Got any more cigarettes?"

  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
    2019-04-08 01:28

    Read it and philosophize while you read it and weep.Sometimes I have to wonder what the people who write the back blurbs of these books are thinking (or smoking). The back says "THE PEARL is a book to be read many times and cherished forever." What they're talking about, I can't imagine. If you choose to get pissed over and over again, then by all means keep reading this tragic story. I get what Steinbeck is saying in his beautiful writing voice - to be content with what is had and to not let the lure of greed drift you too far out, lest you lose everything. It's kind of like the principle of this ridiculous short story we had to read in elementary school - I can't remember it's name, but the point of the story that the teacher and book taught irritated me then too. I get what he's saying, I just don't agree with his perspective.What I take from this fable is that a man gets a break in luck in fortune, something he hopes for in order to save his child's life and better the life of him and his wife. People try to steal and rip from him his fortune with THEIR greed, and he stands strong and tries to fight back, refusing to bow to the injustice of thievery, deceit, and people trying to suck out the joy in others lives. It's a matter of principle to try and protect fortune that comes your way, whether through blessing or hard work or that rare stroke of genius. There is no shame in fighting back against the tides of unfairness to protect what is yours and to work toward something better.I can't bring myself to rate something higher than 3 stars if it pissed me off with its ending, but I can respect this book because it's John freaking Steinbeck, it's a fable that's so well done it may as well define the word 'fable' in the dictionary, and because it wasn't only the alluring pull of the pearl that kept drawing me further in.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-04-07 19:13

    ‭The pearl, John Ernst Steinbeck (1902 - 1968)The Pearl is a novella by American author John Steinbeck, first published in 1947. It is the story of a pearl diver, Kino, and explores man's nature as well as greed, defiance of societal norms, and evil. Steinbeck's inspiration was a Mexican folk tale from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, which he had heard in a visit to the formerly pearl-rich region in 1940. In 1947, it was adapted into a Mexican film named La perla and in 1987 into a cult Kannada movie Ondu Muttina Kathe. The story is one of Steinbeck's most popular books and has been widely used in high school classes. The Pearl is sometimes considered a parable. When Coyotito, an infant, is stung by a scorpion, Kino, his father, must find a way to pay the town doctor to treat him. The doctor denies Kino, an indigenous fisherman, out of racism, which enrages him. Shortly thereafter, Kino discovers an enormous, lucid pearl which he is ready to sell to pay the doctor. Everyone calls it "the Pearl of the World," and many people begin to covet it. That very night Kino is attacked in his own home. Determined to get rid of the pearl, the following morning he takes it to the pearl auction in town; however, the auction is actually a corrupt sham and always has been. The buyers normally fake auction each pearl and pretend bid against each other, but in reality they are all paid a salary by a single man, they all turn the pearls over to him and he resells them outside the village, thus cheating the locals. The corrupt pearl buyers try to convince Kino that the pearl is the equivalent of "fool's gold" and they refuse to pay any more than incredibly low amounts of money. Kino decides to go over the mountains to the capital to find a better price. Juana, Kino's wife, sees that the pearl brings darkness and greed, and sneaks out of the house late at night to throw it back into the ocean. When Kino catches her, he furiously attacks her and leaves her on the beach. ...Characters: Kino, Juana, Coyotito, Juan Tomas, Apoloniaتاریخ نخستین خوانش: دوم ماه اکتبر سال 1974 میلادیعنوان: مروارید؛ اثر: جان اشتاین بک؛ مترجم: محمدجعفر محجوب؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، آرمان، چاپ چهارم 1349، در 203 ص، چاپ پنجم 1353؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی قرن 20 مداستان یک مکزیکی فقیر است، که بزرگ‌ترین مروارید دنیا را می‌یابد، و در دل آرزوی خوشبختی خانواده‌ خویش را دارد. اما گنج، ارمغانی جز نابودی آنها ندارد. شخصیت‌ها: «کینو، شخصیتی مغرور و غواصی فقیر»، «جوآنا همسر کینو شخصیتی اندیشمند که نشانه‌ های هشدار را که کینو از پذیرفتن آنها خودداری می‌کند، می‌بیند. و به خاطر وفاداری و فرمانبرداری دیرینه از همسر، یارای دیگر کردن آنها را ندارد»؛ «کویوتیتو، پسربچه کینو و جوآنا، که در آغاز داستان، عقربی او را نیش می‌زند»؛ «جوآن توماس، برادر کینو»؛ «دکتر، شخصیتی که فاقد ارزش‌های اخلاقی ست. او از درمان کویوتیتو تنها برای اینکه آنها پولی ندارند، سر باز می‌زند. اما پس از شنیدن خبر یافتن گنجی گرانبها توسط کینو، خود جهت درمان بچه به خانه آنها می‌رود»؛ ا. شربیانی

  • Madeline
    2019-04-06 02:29

    Poor pearl diver in South America finds giant-ass pearl, decides to sell it and use the money to buy medicine for his baby, who just got bitten by a scorpion. The mierda hits the fan, people die, everything generally goes to hell in a handbasket, and it all happens in about the space of time it took you to read this review. Verdict: meh. Read for: 10th grade English

  • Kaya
    2019-04-06 19:18

    This is the first Steinbeck's book I've read, though it won't be the last, despite the horrible first impression. I hate everything in this book - from it's anticlimactic writing to its incommodious characters. There is nothing worth praise in here. After I reached the end, I've been so angry and almost ready to punch something. Poor Indian, who lives in the South America with his wife and their baby, finds giant pearl, decides to sell it and then use the money to buy medicine for his child, who just got bitten by a scorpion. The selling part didn't go well, shit gets real, people die without any real purpose and it all happens in about 90 pages. In between there are large amounts of racism, bigotry and misogyny.The reason bad things happen to this poor family is because they wanted a better life and the guy didn't want to let anyone stop him from getting it. Basically, his wife is superstitious, tells him the pearl is evil, he doesn't listen, so tragedy happens. Steinbeck is actually telling us to be satisfied with what we are and not try seeking for better options because we're inevitably going to fail in the end. Also, he justifies when husband beats his wife and she obediently suffers because HE'S A MAN AND HE KNOWS BEST. Maybe I should've tried more to read between lines but this was too much for me. Try and see it for yourself.The narrator literally has no personality, so I don't know how I'm supposed to empathise with any of his struggles. He had some abrupt reactions, but when it comes to recognisable emotions he's pretty blank. I hate it when I can't connect to the main characters or ANY of the characters. And their difficulties were severe.

  • Connie
    2019-03-28 23:29

    John Steinbeck adapted a Mexican folk tale into a novella about fate, evil, the perils of greed, and the plight of oppressed people. The infant son of Juana and Kino, a fisherman and pearl diver, is stung by a scorpion. The doctor refuses to treat the baby because Kino does not have the money to pay him, and because the affluent Spanish colonialists look down at the natives. Kino dives for pearls in the hope that he could afford to pay a doctor, and comes up with a huge, valuable pearl--the "Pearl of the World". He hopes that the pearl will provide necessities and an education for his son someday. But a succession of violent and tragic events occur as people try to rob and swindle Kino.It was interesting how music plays a role in Kino's emotions throughout the book. He hears songs in his head that express a strong feeling--the music of the pearl. When Kino was excited about the material benefits the pearl would bring to his family, "....the music of the pearl rose like a chorus of trumpets to his ears."(24) When people try to swindle him, "....he heard only the dark music of the enemy."(53) When his family treks to another city to sell the pearl, "....the music of the pearl was triumphant in Kino's head, and the quiet melody of the family underlay it, and they wove themselves into the soft padding of sandaled feet in the dust."(67) As circumstances change, Kino hears different types of music of the pearl all the way to the last sentence. Steinbeck wrote a screenplay with Jack Wagner, so the music probably played an even more important role in the filmwhich was released in 1947.I've read other books by Steinbeck, and he is always very sympathetic to poor and oppressed people. This story is told in a very simple manner, like a parable or Mexican folk tale passed down orally. In the epigraph Steinbeck writes, "As with all retold tales that are in people's hearts, there are only good and bad things and black and white things and good and evil things and no in-between anywhere." Although I think real life usually has lots of in-between, or shades of gray, telling this as a parable was very effective for this tale.

  • Nilesh Kashyap
    2019-03-30 19:18

    It was a big mistake I made 3 days ago, I was going to start 'Charlotte's Web' but instead I started 'The Pearl' thinking it was written before ‘Of Mice and Men’ and on just finishing I found it was written much later. All I remember is my decision to read books in sequence they were published. Anyway it can’t be undone.The Review:“In the town they tell the story of the great pearl” how it was found and how it was lost again. They tell of Kino, the fisherman, and of his wife, Juana, and of the baby, Coyotito. And because the story has been told so often, it has taken root in every man’s mind. And, as with all retold tales that are in people’s hearts, there are only good and bad things and black and white things and good and evil things and no in-between anywhere.“If this story is a parable, perhaps everyone takes his own meaning from it and reads his own life into it. In any case, they say in the town that…”This small prologue tells very much of all that is in the book. From the very first page, the moment the pearl is found and on every other page one knows that pearl will be lost. But I read with the bleakest of hope that the pearl would not be lost, the pearl that has became Kino’s life and whose music, the music of pearl, played above all. Or did I read just to confirm for myself that pearl was really lost, lost to the world that comprised of pearl dealers (with hope that someone will replace the one, under whom they worked), doctor (who dreamed of going to Paris), Priest (remembering those part of church that were in need of repair) and to the city of concrete. And in midst of all this we see a stubborn husband’s struggle to save his family from all the evil that came along with the pearl. A calm wife and at the same time a mother, making futile attempt to get rid of pearl as it has laid curse upon her family. What’s interesting is the vivid description of landscape. You just do not read a story but you live the story. You see and feel everything, even that which is not perceptible to our eyes in day to day life. I remember only one book that had stark description of setting and backdrop even more vibrant ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ There is nothing much to remember from the story, nevertheless a nice story. It just feels that I am yet to read the best of John Steinbeck.

  • Fiona MacDonald
    2019-03-28 23:21

    A simple story about a young man who finds a pearl, and the tragic consequences that greed can bring, yet I came away from this absolutely gobsmacked with the intensity and beauty of Steinbeck's writing. It was powerful, gripping and heartbreaking, all in less than 100 pages. I can only liken this to Hemingway's 'The Old Man and the Sea' - utterly flawless.

  • jessica
    2019-04-13 21:15

    i have had this sitting on my bookshelf for a while now (about 5 years! what?!) so i finally decided to read it. and, although i didnt enjoy it as much as some of his other novels, i appreciated the cautionary message of the story and the classic steinbeck writing style. 3 stars

  • Betsy Robinson
    2019-04-11 02:18

    I can’t help it. I’m seeing everything I’m reading these days through the metaphor of our insane political culture. Maybe that’s because we are in the midst of iconic metaphors—the stuff of Shakespeare, Aristotle, and more recently John Steinbeck.The Pearl, based on a classic Mexican folk tale, tells the story of Kino, Juana, and their infant son. They are simple people, whose life explodes with a scorpion bite. Poison! Poison leads to a need to pay for a bogus antidote, which leads to the discovery of the world’s greatest pearl, which leads to devastation.“I am a man,” says Kino in explanation of why clinging to the pearl at all costs is right. “It meant that Kino would drive his strength against a mountain and plunge his strength against the sea. Juana, in her woman’s soul, knew that the mountain would stand while the man broke himself; that the sea would surge while the man drowned in it.”In my opinion, this is where we all are right now—at the apex of the shift from “might makes right” to, I hope, something equally male and female. The apex is a precarious place where winds blow, people tumble into oblivion, and everything feels like life or death.Thank you, Mr. Steinbeck. In a mere 90 pages you told the story of the human race.

  • Susana
    2019-03-27 01:22

    (review in English below)Que maravilha! Steinbeck é um mestre!Se pudesse, teria lido este livro duma assentada, pois assim o exigia a escrita imperiosa, escravizante, que transformou uma narrativa que podia ser banal numa história arrebatadora, emocionante, que nos inquieta de tal modo que damos por nós a tentar não espreitar a página seguinte para saber o que vai acontecer a seguir, ao mesmo tempo que nos atropela com as sensações dos personagens principais.Tenho mesmo de ler as obras maiores deste autor!Recomendadíssimo!Wow, that was wonderful! Steinbeck is a master!If I could, I would've read this book in one sitting, for that was what the writing demanded. An imperative, enslaving writing, that transformed a common narrative into a passionate, thrilling story. A writing so disquieting that you find yourself trying not to peek into the next page to know what's going to happen, while we are run over by the feelings of the main characters.I really must read his greater works!I can't recommend this enough!

  • Carmo
    2019-04-21 02:32

    A Pérola é provavelmente de todos os livros que tenho, o que li mais vezes. É uma história comovente cheia de simbolismo. Desde o inicio da narrativa que se sente a tragédia a pairar sob as personagens. Kino e Juana não têm mais nada na vida além da canoa que utilizam para apanhar ostras. Acalentam a esperança de um dia a sorte lhes sorrir e encontrarem a pérola que lhes permita dar ao filho, Coyotito, uma vida melhor.E precisamente quando mais precisavam encontraram. Uma pérola enorme, que num dia plantou sonhos e esperança e no outro trouxe consigo a morte.É uma história sobre a ganância e a inveja que prevalecem acima da solidariedade. Uma parábola sobre as grandezas e as misérias do homem.Steinbeck tem aqui uma escrita simples, bela, mas muito tensa.Publicado em 1947, continua tão actual como se tivesse sido escrito hoje.

  • Luís C.
    2019-04-05 22:30

    This book is an allegory of money or, at least, a parable on the theme of physical possession.All is symbol in this book, the pearl, object coveted by bead researchers, like money, sought by those who do not, are in the center.The story takes place in Mexican California, near the end of the peninsula. The protagonists are poor (as seems to me at Steinbeck) and one of them will find, so to say, the gem. I'll let you see what can happen to the poor who die of a magical stroke let fly fortune ... Think well in both senses of the word "fortune".For those interested, the story begins: Kino and his wife Juana are rough Indian, poor and workers, parents of a young child named Coyotito. This is stung by a scorpion and was between life and death. Juana understands that its traditional medicines may not be sufficient and convincing Kino to present it to in medicine of the white.The wealthy white doctor sends them wandering in seeing that it could not reasonably be paid. The couple goes off to, full of bitterness, almost resigned to losing her child. Before returning to work in order not to starve, Kino and Juana are going again dredging the bottom of the Gulf and discovered a huge gem, a huge bead, as they would not even dare to imagine, yet less possess.Although they want to hide it, the news spread like wildfire.From there, their fate is their own becoming, the white doctor, mysteriously, wants to see the child, Kino hears prowl at night around his hut...What to do when you are not on hand to play in the category of which money is the business? It is now for you to read and enjoy this beautiful new philosophical or sociological character, but remember that everything I just wrote is just my opinion, that is to say, not much thing.

  • Cathrine ☯️
    2019-03-31 21:30

    4+★This short novella (90 pages) brings to mind the biblical parable of The Pearl Of Great Price. Like the parables, the telling juxtaposes contrasting motifs of good and evil and what defines them or makes them so. How sudden wealth can corrupt depending on one’s choices, needs, or morals. Is it better to let things be or risk irreperable change for possible transformation or benefit? The reader has much to ponder throughout the pages which turn beautifully. I could hear the sounds of water, smell the woodsmoke from the fires, taste the grilled corncake, feel the tension as oppression, ambition, and greed warred with opposites. The movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre kept flicking through my head. A timeless story no doubt told in many cultures and voices throughout history, this little treasure of a book is well worth your time and could make for good group discussion.

  • Erin Clemence
    2019-04-15 02:25

    I read this book in high school (doesn’t everyone?) and then recently re-read it, surprising even myself. Initially I had picked it up because it was such a small book, and the 89 pages were just long enough to get me through the day. I normally try and avoid massive literature greats like Steinbeck, as the easy reading I normally do helps me to escape my reality without a huge deal of thought. Anyway, Steinbeck’s story (for those who don’t know) tells the tale of Kino, his young bride Juana and their new baby Coyotito. Kino is a poor pearl diver (like his father before him), who lives very humbly in a grass shack, in a community of other pearl divers. Although the nationality of Kino is not divulged, we are told he is “brown skinned” and it is hinted at that he could possibly be early Native American, or early Hispanic (keeping in mind this book was written in the very early 20th century). Kino’s life changes when he finds a massive pearl during one of his dives- all of a sudden he has dreams for his family, his future and his son. Kino is soon overpowered with feelings of distrust (of those in his close-knit community that he once trusted) and takes his family away from the village, after frequent attacks and robbery attempts have left him skittish and scared of losing his future (the beloved Pearl). When tragedy happens, Juana and Kino blame the “cursed” pearl and return to the village they once disowned, where they are welcomed back into its folds. Steinbeck’s tale of course, speaks to the greed of humanity, the immediate distrust of others once something of value is in one’s possession, and the importance of having more than money and riches in one’s life. This small book is a quick read, and a great reminder of the important things in life. However, re-reading it now as an adult, it is evident that Steinbeck’s time and our time is very different (although perhaps I am just bitter) as I was quick to think Kino’s protectiveness of his Pearl and the immediate distrust was not entirely misplaced- I likely would have acted exactly the same way. I was grateful to get a chance to re-experience this tiny masterpiece.

  • Aj the Ravenous Reader
    2019-04-05 02:13

    This is one of the first novels I have ever read. The story is simple but very genuine. The plot is interesting and the messages the story contains are timeless and universal. It is also a very quick read.

  • Duane
    2019-04-05 21:11

    Steinbeck's tragic novella is about a poor pearl diver, Kino, and what happens to him and his family after he finds "the pearl of the world". This great pearl should bring incredible wealth to it's owner, but the ways of the world are not set to benefit Kino which he quickly learns. This book is likable and easy to read, even for people who are not generally fond of Steinbeck's writing, I would think.

  • Shannon (leaninglights)
    2019-03-31 18:34

    Greed is a dangerous thing.

  • Richard Derus
    2019-03-25 21:17

    Rating: 4* of fiveA beautiful fable of life's central issue: greed. How awful it felt to write that sentence.Particularly important to read in this horrendous passage in American history.