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The Pearl Summary
John Steinbeck

Everything you need to understand or teach The Pearl by John Steinbeck.

  • The Pearl Summary & Study Guide
  • 29 Student Essay
  • 1 Book Note
  • ...and more
  • 30 The Pearl Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

The Pearl Summary


Whether by prayer, quest, or lottery ticket, humans have long expressed their dreams of a better life. Many are the tales about this phenomenon and, more often than not, the tales end in tragedy for the pleasure seeker. This longing for something better is the theme of John Steinbeck's 1947 The Pearl.

Steinbeck was disillusioned in the aftermath of World War II. He realized that none of his heroes— the GI, the vagrant, or the scientific visionary— could negotiate survival in a civilization that created the atomic bomb. Repentance, as attempted by his characters in his novel The Wayward Bus (1947), was not enough. Fittingly, he reflected his disillusionment through a legend about a man who finds the Pearl of the World and is eventually destroyed by greed.

The legend tells of an Indian pearl diver who cannot afford a doctor for his son's scorpion sting. In this anxious state, he...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The The Pearl Study Pack contains about 190 pages of study material in 38 products, including:

The Pearl Study Guide

Lesson Plan

All teaching products sold separately.

The Pearl Lesson Plans contain 111 pages of teaching material, including:

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