The Pearl Overview

This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Pearl.
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Whether by prayer, quest, or contest, humans have long expressed their desire for wealth and dreams of a better life. Many are the tales about this phenomenon and, more often than not, the tales end in tragedy. This longing for something better is the theme of 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 had created the atomic bomb. Repentance, as attempted by the 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...

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This section contains 1,170 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pearl Study Guide
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The Pearl from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.