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The book The Pearl by John Steinbeck....?

Could anyone help me with information on this book. I would like to some of the symbolism, themes, characterization, and some of the many conflicts in this book. Can someone please help me?

Thanks. =]

4 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Plot

    Coyotito, the baby of Kino, a poor Mexican fisherman, and Guanaco, his mate, is bitten by a scorpion. Guanaco sucks the scorpion poison from Coyotito's wound. When the baby falls ill, the grief-stricken parents take him to the only doctor in the neighboring town who refuses to treat him because the baby's parents cannot pay. They wrap Coyotito in a blanket and take him in their prized canoe into the water so Kino can dive for pearls. Kino finds the "Pearl of the World," and Coyotito rests more comfortably, the poison receding from his body. Kino believes the great pearl is his baby's ticket to health, an education, and a better life. Juana looks forward to being able to be married in the church now that they can pay. However, superstitions of the village begin to make Juana fear that the pearl is evil and will bring them grief. The parish priest who had never had time for Kino and Juana before comes to see the pearl and tells Kino, "I hope thou wilt remember to give thanks, my son, to Him who has given thee this treasure, and to pray for his guidance in the future." Juana' fear of the pearl's evil power is confirmed after the doctor learns of Kino's good fortune and comes to treat the baby, giving him "medication" that makes him very ill. Kino begins to fear, hides the pearl, readies his knife, and stabs a man who attempts to enter his cabin in the night. Juana begs Kino to throw the evil pearl away before it destroys them.

    The next morning Kino, Juana, and Coyotito, followed by the villagers, go to La Paz to sell the pearl. Juan Tomas, Kino's brother, cautions him to be careful he is not cheated. When Kino presents the pearl to the dealers they tell him it is too large to sell. Finally, one of the dealers offers Kino a paltry sum. Knowing he is being cheated, Kino takes his pearl, and with the procession, returns defeated to his village. He buries the pearl, fears that it will be stolen, and decides to travel many miles on foot to the capital to attempt to sell the pearl. Juana, fearing the evil of the pearl, attempts to throw it away while Kino sleeps, but Kino chases her and beats her. As Kino walks away from Juana, he kills a man attempting to steal the pearl, and Juana knows "the old life was gone forever." They plan to use Kino's prized possession, the canoe, to begin their journey to the capital, but Kino finds it with a splintered hole broken in it." Juana returns to their brush house to get Coyotito and finds it in flames. Knowing he has killed a man, Kino takes Juana and Coyotito and hides in Juan Tomas' house, asking him to tell the villagers they were killed in the fire and the pearl was stolen. They flee the village "in the dark of the moon" relying on the wind to cover their tracks.

    All night they walk; by day they hide in the shade of a tree. Juana does not sleep and Kino sleeps fitfully. Waking from a dream, he tells Juana to quiet the baby because he hears something. In the distance, he sees three men, two on foot and one on horseback. They pass the family by, but Kino knows the trackers will return. The family flees into the mountains, hoping they can lose them. Near a pool of water, Kino hides Juana and Coyotito in a cave. Finally, the trackers come and make camp near the pool. The baby whimpers, a match flares at the trackers' campsite, the match dies, Kino sees a rifle near the tracker and readies himself to steal it. But, before he reaches the tracker the moon rises, casting too much light on the camp site. Kino prepares to leap for the gun as Coyotito whimpers in the distance. He is able to kill two of the trackers. But, when he hears Juana's cry he knows it is the cry of death for her baby. Kino carries the rifle and Juana carries the dead baby, wrapped in her shawl, back to La Paz. They walk through the city "as though it were not there." They walk quietly to the sea; Kino offers the pearl to Juana, but she says, "No, you." He flings it with all his might into the lovely green sea.

    The symbols: The novella is filled with symbols. In addition to those discussed above, alert readers can identify many more. The scorpion is not only a symbol, but foreshadows the evil that is to come. The pearl, gray or black in color, also must be considered symbolic. The town, the sea, and the village all possess certain symbols of a way of life and death.

    The Themes: The themes of Steinbeck's story are those that go beyond the moral that might have been heard by Mexican villagers as they listened to it. Teachers can ask students to think about the message this story might give to ignorant, poverty-stricken people and discuss the irony in this message. Students can be led to an understanding of this irony as they deal with questions such as: What message might poor villagers who cannot read hear from this story as it is told? What effect does the message they hear have on their lives?

    Steinbeck's themes show the irony of the simple message heard by poor villagers: wealth

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Pearl is a classic, one that I have not read for a very long time. Because it is such a classic, there are numerous free on line resources that can help you with your study of this novel, most of which analyze the story, discuss themes, quotes and symbolism and other literary devices, and give character sketches. Here are a few of the free ones.

    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/pearl/

    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/LitNote/The-Pe...

    http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/pear...

    http://english.byu.edu/novelinks/Novel%20pages/The...

    http://education.yahoo.com/homework_help/cliffsnot...

    http://www.geocities.com/frankie_meehan/PearlFront...

    http://www.pinkmonkey.com/booknotes/barrons/pearl....

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  • 3 years ago

    Television set ruins your mind and enables you to bad in college hmmm and reading is interesting and makes you smarter

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    I'd read a reserve but I want silence and I watch television for Big Bang theory family person spongebob funny or movies in general throw me a good publication and I'll read it I'm not old a professor or a nerd

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