The Pearl Essay

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In the following excerpt, Karsten examines two of Steinbeck's major themes and their manifestations in The Pearl.

Before advancing to thematic material, it may be well to establish immediately what we hold as the structure of the novel. Although the structure could be shown schematically, let us use words. Each chapter contains a central incident which has both cause and effect, tying together the action. In Chapter I the central incident is accidental, the scorpion's stinging Coyotito, and results hi the need to find a pearl with which to pay for a doctor's treatment. The discovery of the pearl, the fruit of purposeful action for something good and the central incident of Chapter II, has the effect of making Kino everyone's enemy, the townspeople's becoming a threat to Kino and his family. Chapters III and IV have as central incidents the attacks upon Kino for possession of the...

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This section contains 2,079 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pearl Study Guide
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