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Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

I finally finished reading The Pearl by Steinbeck. It is a short 90 pages long but with everything else going on, it managed to take me almost two weeks to read it. It is such an interesting story. Kino, the father, finds the "Pearl of the World," which he hopes will bring in the money to save his baby son from a scorpion sting. The "pearl of the world" eventually leads to the death of Kino's son. Steinbeck has a beautiful way with words, he must be one of the most eloquent writers I have read in a long time. His language is simple, but striking. The characters in the story are so complex and Steinbeck manages to use a few words to portray their inner characters. The story is so tragic and such an interesting commentary about what is important to people in life. Kino gets so caught up in selling the pearl that he ends up sacrificing what he was initially try to save. The powerful people in the book are portrayed so shallowly, interested primarily in money and willing to compromise their values so easily. The contrast between the rich and poor citizens in the book is one of things vs. values, though these are easily blurred when positions change in the slightest. Power is such an elusive prize and doesn't seem to be worth the sacrifices being made. Such a short book, but it says so much.

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