In The Pearl, John Steinbeck brings the reader into the life of a young Mexican family. The father, mother and baby are good-natured, and pure at heart. They work heard, and love deeply. They live simply, and life has brought them happiness. One day, though, this all changes with the flick of a scorpions tail. This life of simplicity and love, turns into fear and desperation, and happens upon divine intervention (or so it seems) by the discovery of the “pearl of the world.” This journey that the scorpion sends this family on, is one that is very difficult to travel, and at times, more difficult to read.
Dealing with money, and the pursuit of riches, Steinbeck shows the darkness that greed and love of money will inevitably bring about. He shows how it affects all areas of life; family, friends, interest, and self. He shows how money changes the heart, and turns a once-good person, into a dweller of darkness.
The Pearl is a somber story, but one that needs to be told, it’s importance comes from the simple reminder that happiness will never come from money or from wealth. Happiness will only come from love.
John Steinbeck brilliantly managed to write a 96 page book, with the importance and weight of a 400 page epic. I highly recommend this book to everyone. The message written on the pages of this novel are, and will continue to be, important for every coming generation.