Can anyone tell be what this quote says about parables:
‘If this story is a parable, perhaps everyone takes his own meaning from it and reads his own life into it. In any case, they say in the town that…’
"Parable" can be defined as "a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson." An allegory "usually involves moral or spiritual concepts which are more significant than the actual narrative." Therefore, a parable is a short story that is used to allow every hearer or reader to construct his/her own meaning, based on his/her life experiences.
Steinbeck is suggesting that his story, The Pearl, might have meanings or interpretations beyond simply telling a story about an impoverished Mexican husband and wife and their struggle to find medical help for their infant son. He is encouraging every reader to consider ways in which s/he may struggle for pride against systems or people that seem to have all the power, or ways in which s/he might be part of such a system that is involved in keeping others down. Steinbeck believed that individuals could and should live at peace with nature and could control their own destiny if this relationship was undisturbed, but that evil, in the form greed or corruption, could destroy this relationship and lead to disaster.