This post contains affiliate links. When I was in 9th grade, I had a reading class. Every day from 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m., I went to this class and read. For a bibliophile like me, this was a dream class. It was in that class that I first read The Pearl by John Steinbeck–my first Steinbeck book. I fell in love with the story and promptly went on to read many more Steinbeck books.
This year, I assigned The Pearl to PB & J Girl as part of her English curriculum. I read it aloud to her and was delighted that she loved the story as much as I still do.
About The Pearl by John Steinbeck
The Pearl is set in Mexico and is based on a folk story Steinbeck once heard. The story follows a young family comprised of Kino, his wife, Juana, and their infant son, Coyotito. They are a poor but happy family. Unfortunately, one day a scorpion bites Coyotito, and the panicked parents immediately go to the local doctor. However, the fat, greedy doctor won’t see them because he knows they are poor.
Kino is desperate to get medical care for his son, so he does what he knows how to do–dive in the water searching pearls. On this day, he is lucky and finds the largest pearl he, and the village, have ever seen. Kino’s mind races to all of the things he can do with the money once he sells the pearl. First, of course, he will seek medical care for his son, but after, he has many other plans for the money.
However, fate has different plans.
My Thoughts on the Book
I simply love Steinbeck’s writing. The reader can so easily see the story unfolding, and every Steinbeck story is heartbreakingly beautiful and agonizing. This story demonstrates what happens when one tries to leave his own social class. This story is often called a parable, and, indeed, it offers many lessons. If you haven’t read this novella, I urge you to do so. And then when you’re done, dive into more of Steinbeck’s books like The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and East of Eden. Steinbeck remains one of my top five favorite authors.
I give The Pearl by John Steinbeck 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.