The Pearl Essay

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In the following excerpt, Morris examines the relationship between realism and allegory in The Pearl.

[Nothing] more clearly indicates the allegorical nature of The Pearl as it developed in Steinbeck's mind from the beginning—as the various titles attached to the work—The Pearl of the World and The Pearl of La Paz. Although the city of La Paz may be named appropriately in the title since the setting for the action is in and around that place, the Spanish word provides a neat additional bit of symbolism, if in some aspects ironic. In its working title, the novel tells the story of The Pearl of Peace. When this title was changed to The Pearl of the World for magazine publication, although the irony was partially lost, the allegorical implications were still present. But Steinbeck had apparently no fears that the nature of the tale would be mistaken...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 1,884 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pearl Study Guide
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