The Pearl is a story about an Mexican Indian man and woman, set in the early to mid-
1900ís, in Bolivia. It was written by John Steinbeck as a short fiction book that tells of the
familyís 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 wonít 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 isnít always a good thing. Life was
good for the family before the pearl. Things werenít 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 werenít totally sure and wished to
seek the reassurance of a doctor. When they went to the doctorís 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