Book Review: The Pearl by John Steinbeck

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.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Pearl by John Steinbeck

    • I went back and re-read my article, and I didn’t write my thoughts clearly. Sorry about that!

      When one thinks of epics, and thinks of the events written that take a hero from point A to point B, they are “epic” because the hero is transformed from beginning to end through these events. When I wrote, “[Steinbeck] managed to write a 96 page book, with the importance and weight of a 400 page epic..” I meant that the “hero” (who isn’t very heroic) goes through a great deal of struggle, and great deal of change in a relatively short about of time (or number of pages). It’s a journey that other books take 400 pages to narrate, and Steinbeck does it well in 96.

      I understand he wasn’t intending the story to be an epic, nor am I implying that it should be considered one. I just found the book to have similar themes, and left me with the feeling that the protagonist took the journey of an epic.

      Hope this makes sense! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

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