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A plot summary of john steinbecks the pearl

Summary[ edit ] The Pearl, which takes place in La Paz, Mexico, begins with a description of the seemingly idyllic family life of Kino, his wife Juana and their infant son, Coyotito. Kino watches as Coyotito sleeps, but sees a scorpion crawl down the rope that holds the hanging box where Coyotito lies. Kino attempts to catch the scorpion, but Coyotito bumps the rope and the scorpion falls on him.

Although Kino kills the scorpion, it still stings Coyotito. Juana and Kino, accompanied by their neighbors, go to see the local doctor, who refuses to treat Coyotito because Kino cannot pay.

Kino and Juana leave the doctors and take Coyotito down near the sea, where Juana uses a seaweed poultice on Coyotito's shoulder, which is now swollen. Kino dives for oysters from his canoe, attempting to find pearls.

He finds a very large oyster which yields an immense pearl, which he dubs "The Pearl of the World". Kino howls, causing the other pearl divers to look up and race toward his canoe. The news that Kino has found an immense pearl travels fast through La Paz. The doctor who refused to treat Coyotito decides to visit Kino.

Kino's neighbors begin to feel bitter toward him for his good fortune, but neither Kino nor Juana realize this feeling that they have engendered.

The Pearl Summary

Juan Tomas, Kino's brother, asks him what he will do with his money, and he envisions getting married to Juana in a church and dressing Coyotito in a yachting cap and sailor suit.

He claims that he will send Coyotito to school and buy a rifle for himself. The local priest visits and tells Kino to remember to give thanks and to pray for guidance. The doctor also visits, and although Coyotito seems to be healing, the doctor insists that Coyotito still faces danger and treats him.

Kino tells the doctor that he will pay him once he sells his pearl, and the doctor attempts to discern where the pearl is located Kino has buried it in the corner of his hut. That night, a thief attempts to break into Kino's hut, but Kino drives him away. Juana tells Kino that the pearl will destroy them, but Kino insists that the pearl is their one chance and that tomorrow they will sell it.

The Pearl Plot Summary

Kino's neighbors wonder what they would do if they had found the pearl, and suggest giving it as a present to the Pope, buying Masses for the souls of his family, and distributing it among the poor of La Paz. Kino goes to sell his pearl, accompanied by his neighbors, but the pearl dealer only offers a thousand pesos when Kino believes that he deserves fifty thousand.

Although other dealers inspect the pearl and give similar prices, Kino refuses their offer and decides to go to the capital to sell it there. That night, Kino is attacked by more thieves, and Juana once again reminds him that the pearl is evil. However, he vows that he will not be cheated. Later that night, Juana attempts to take the pearl and throw it into the ocean, but Kino finds her and beats her for doing so.

A group of men accost Kino and knock the pearl from his hand. Juana watches from a distance, and sees Kino approach her, limping with another man whose throat Kino has slit. Juana finds the pearl, and they decide that they must go away even if the murder was in self-defense. Kino finds that his canoe has been damaged and their house was torn up and the outside set afire. They stay with Juan Tomas and his wife, Apolonia, where they hide for the next day before setting out for the capital that night.

Kino and Juana travel that night, and rest during the day. When Kino believes that he is being followed, the two hide and Kino sees several bighorn sheep a plot summary of john steinbecks the pearl who pass by him. Kino and Juana escape into the mountains, where Juana and Coyotito hide in the cave while Kino takes his clothes off so that no one will see his white clothing.

The trackers think that they hear something when they hear Coyotito crying, but decide that it is merely a coyote pup. After a tracker shoots in the direction of the cries, Kino attacks the three trackers, killing all three of them. Kino can hear nothing but the cry of death, for he soon realizes that Coyotito is dead from that first shot.

The Pearl Notes

Juana and Kino return to La Paz. Kino carries a rifle stolen from the one of the trackers he killed, while Juana carries the dead Coyotito.

The two approach the gulf, and Kino, who now sees the image of Coyotito with his head blown off in the pearl, throws it into the ocean. Setting[ edit ] Steinbeck began writing the story as a movie script [3] in 1944, and first published it as a short story called "The Pearl of the World" in Woman's Home Companion in December 1945.

The film was also released by RKO in 1947 as a co-promotion with the book. Throughout the novel, the plot discusses how the family lives before and after the pearl. It is constantly the focus of the plot and many of the decisions are based on what would be best for the family.

For example, the first thing that Kino desires to do with the money from the pearl is to give his wife and Coyotito a better life. Later, Kino also demonstrates devotion to his family by not selling to the pearl dealer. The second buyer was trying to get the pearl for less than it was worth, but Kino, with his family in mind, declined to search for a better deal.

He always has his family in mind, whether it leads to warmth and happiness or destruction. It was the reason Kino got the pearl and, eventually, the reason why he threw it back into the ocean.

Good and Evil a plot summary of john steinbecks the pearl of the biggest themes in this novel is the one between good and evil. This theme is displayed in other themes as well and it is shown from the beginning to the end. In the beginning Kino lives a life of simplicity and happiness but when he discovers the pearl, he believes that good will come from it.

However, a sense of evil accompanies it. After that, Kino and his family were in a constant battle against evil to preserve the good that they enjoyed before. Once Kino discovers the pearl, he begins to dream about what could come from this fortune, but as he tries to carry out this plan, the good wealth also brings destruction. Though Kino desires good for his family, there is a paradox of an evil reality that he does not want.

In the end, the finding of the great prize causes him to lose another, his son. Before he found the pearl, he was determined to provide for his family and protect them from any harm. He perseveres to keep the pearl but, in the end, it was not worth keeping.

Characters[ edit ] Kino is the main character that develops throughout the novel. He begins as a hard-working, simple man that has a wife, Juana, and a son, Coyotito.

He is content with his life-style as a diver but is not wealthy until he discovers the pearl. After discovering the pearl, Kino gradually changes to become a completely different man. Quickly, he becomes obsessed with the material things that the pearl could bring, which is drastically different than before. He is no longer content with his son being uneducated, or his family not being well-dressed. Instead of enjoying his family and their company, as he did in a plot summary of john steinbecks the pearl beginning, he becomes discontent and always seeks more.

She is a loving woman who cares for her husband and son. Throughout the experience, she remains loyal to her family but also perceives the evil that the pearl brings. For example, one night, she attempted to throw the pearl back into the ocean to bring back peace and happiness to her family, demonstrating her wisdom and love for them.

He is their only child, so his parents do everything they can to protect him. The Doctor symbolizes greed and manipulation. Before the pearl is found, he refused to heal Coyotito because the family was poor, though it would have been easy. However, after the family found the pearl, he returns to the family much friendlier. Not only is he particular to who he treats, demonstrating his greed, but he also uses their ignorance to his advantage by lying about how to treat Coyotito.

The doctor is a stark contrast from the family and is the beginning of the evil that will come from the pearl. In the beginning, Juan Tomas warns Kino of the destruction that wealth may bring [9]demonstrating his love for his brother. When destruction does come, however, Juan Tomas does not arrogantly turn away his brother but, instead, welcomes him in to protect him.

He is one of the few characters that does not seek money and knows the importance of family The pearl dealers is another character that demonstrates greed and manipulation. When Kino tries to sell the pearl, the pearl dealer refuses to take the pearl for its actual price. Instead, he says it is worth less so that he could make more money. He heightens the difference between what Kino wants from the pearl and what it actually brings. January 2013 These publications praised the novel as a "major artistic triumph" and emphasizes how Steinbeck understands "the universal significance of life.

Though many still believe that Steinbeck's work was a unique reflection on "the human experience," there are others who disagreed. Now, people like Warren French, criticize the novel for "lacking both insight and worth. Many believe that the book is the easiest of Steinbeck's books to teach because the lessons are simple, yet significant, [12] so, generally, students that are in middle school or early high school study this novel.

They emphasize the themes of the book to allow the student to learn more than just literacy. Nevertheless, this novel has played a significant role in history and has even won the Nobel Prize.