​A Mexican parable that follows Kino and his discovery of a pearl.

When Kino’s young son, Coyotito, is attacked by a scorpion, Juana, the baby’s mother, calls for the doctor. But the doctor does not visit the home of the poor. So Kino and Juana set out with Coyotito to visit the doctor at his home. When the doctor discovers that they have no money to pay him, he refuses to see them. 

Kino sets out in his canoe and joins the ranks of other men in the water, searching for pearls. As luck should have it, Kino finds a big, beautiful pearl. And that’s when things go from bad to worse.
 
One of the morals I got from this incredibly short story is, be careful what you wish for. Kino looked to the pearl as some kind of savior. He hoped that from the money he got from it he would be able to give Coyotito a better life. But the pearl corrupted him, and drove him a bit mad. 

Throughout the story, Kino struggles between right and wrong. He has this idea of what the pearl will be able to provide and does whatever necessary to hold on to it. His wife and brother are the voices of reason he refuses to listen to. Because the idea has taken root deep within him. When tragedy strikes, Kino is finally able to see the error of his ways.
 
The ending is melancholy when you think about it. I won’t spoil it, but I will say I found it depressing. Because the way I interpreted it, the ending suggests there is no hope. Not the most comforting thought. 

2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge.

Prompt: an allegory

Challenge update: 42/50

8 thoughts on “The Pearl by John Steinbeck

  1. I like that the pearl itself could easily be changed into any object of obsession. The pearl is like money in that way, and in the end it’s not all cracked up to be if you’ve become obsessed… The Pearl sounds like it’s got Scarface vibes.

    Liked by 1 person

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