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Steinbeck, perhaps more than any other author of his time, provided detailed descriptions of the natural world that makes the reader "see" exactly what his characters see or what his omniscient narrator wants them to see. This is especially true of The Pearl. Here are three vivid uses of description (Ch I, II, VI):
Near the brush fence two roosters bowed and feinted at each other with squared wings and neck feathers ruffed out. It would bad clumsy fight. They were not game chickens. Kino watched them for a moment, and then his eyes went up to a flight of wild doves twinkling inland to the hills. The world was awake now, and Kino arose and went into his brush house.
Light filtered down through the water to the bed where the frilly pearl oysters lay fastened to the rubbery bottom, a bottom strewn with shells of broken, opened oysters...The gray oysters with ruffles like skirts on the shells, the barnacle-crusted oysters with little bits of weed clinging to the skirts and small crabs climbing over them.
This land was waterless, furred with the cacti which could store water and with the great-rooted brush which could reach deep into the earth for a little moisture...And underfoot was not soil but broken rock, split into small cubes, great slabs, but none of it water-rounded. Little tufts of sad dry grass grew between the stones...Horned toads watched the family go by and turned their little pivoting dragon heads.
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