Discuss what you believe the allegory is in "The Pearl".

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the link listed below, enotes defines an allegory as a narrative which is meant to convey lessons or meanings not directly stated, and a central character who makes a journey towards spiritual growth.  The Pearl meets both of these criteria.

Some of the lessons communicated through Steinbeck's simple but profound tale include the importance of community and the corruptive aspect of wealth.  When Kimo finds the Pearl, he has in his possession the power to alleviate the economic plight of his entire impoverished community.  Instead, in his greed he chooses to pursue the benefits of his discovery for himself and his family alone, and ends up losing everything. 

Kimo's spiritual journey begins with him suddenly waking in the night.  Allegorically, there is a cock crowing and danger in the form of a scorpion lurking nearby.  Kimo sees the sorry situation of his tribe under imperialism in the stark poverty around him and his eyes are further opened by the demeaning treatment he personally receives at the hands of the white doctor.  Kimo is given the opportunity to change things when he finds the Great Pearl.  Unfortunately, Kimo does not respond wisely to the chance provided him, and at the end of his spiritual journey he is perhaps wiser, but in worse circumstances than he was before.