THE PEARL: A Review

The Pearl is a story about an Mexican Indian man and woman, set in the early to
mid-1900's, in Bolivia. It was written by John Steinbeck as a short fiction
book that tells of the family's life just before, during, and just after find a
great pearl. The book was an amazing and discussed many different ideas. The
main idea discussed is whether or not being rich is a good thing. The story
explained how everyone would like to be rich yet being rich has a lot of
unnecessary baggage that goes with it.

There are two major characters in this book. The first is a man named Kino. He
is a Mexican Indian of about 25-30 years. He lives in a fairly primitive
village among a similar group of Mexican Indians. They are a fishing village
and also dive for pearls. The second character is a woman named Juana. She is
his commonlaw wife, mother of his son, and better half. She supports everything
Kino does, and offers advice to him whenever he needs it. They have a son named
Coyotito who plays a minor role in the book but a very major part in their lives.
The book starts with Coyotito getting bit my a scorpion. The families needs to
see a doctor but the doctor won't see them because they have no money. Kino
decides to go pearl hunting in an attempt to get some money. He dives and,
after removing some shells, catches a glimpse of something shiny out of the
corner of his eye. He removes the oyster that he saw the gleam from, and
returns to the surface. Inside the oyster he finds a huge pearl that becomes
known as, the Pearl of the World. Almost immediately there after, people try to
steal it. The doctor tries to steal it after giving the baby a medicine to make
it seem ill, however Kino wakes up and chases him away. The next morning, he
goes to town to try and sell the pearl but the prices he gets offered, he feels,
are to low. That night he gets attacked several more times and ends up killing
a man. The family is forced to flee after their house is burned down and their
floor is dug up. They cover their tracks very well but Kino notices a trio of
trackers following them. The family tries to outrun the trackers but they
cannot escape them. Kino finds some caves that they cannot me traced into and
decides to hide the family in there. He realizes that, in order to survive, he
must kill the trackers. While Kino gets in position to make his attack, the
baby begins to cry. The trackers hear it and, thinking it might be a coyote,
fire a rifle at it. Later we find out that they killed Coyotito with that blast.
Kino leaps out and kills all three trackers. The family returns to their
village without Coyotitio and throw that evil pearl back into the sea. There
the story ends.

The major idea of the book was that money or riches isn't always a good thing.
Life was good for the family before the pearl. Things weren't perfect but they
were much better before they found the pearl than after. In the beginning, the
family was on a routine and everyone was pretty much happy. When Coyotitio was
bitten by the scorpion, Juana sucked most of the poison out and it looked like
he was going to survive. However, they weren't totally sure and wished to seek
the reassurance of a doctor. When they went to the doctor's house, they were
turned away, the obvious reason was because they had no money, although it was
not the reason given. They decided they needed money, so Kino went diving for
pearls. When he found this huge pearl, at first their luck was good, Coyotito
seemed much better, but as time progressed, things got much worse. People were
continually trying to take advantage of Kino and Juana for their pearl and
several times Kino was attacked and searched. Juana recognized what the pearl
represented and tried to throw it away. Kino hit her in her face and kicked her
in her side when he caught her, he was blinded by the riches. Not more than a
minute later, he was attacked and ended up killing a man. If they had not found
the pearl, Coyotito would most likely have not died, Kino would not have been
beaten