What meaning do you make of the parable of The Pearl by John Steinbeck?Steinbeck called The Pearl a parable and said that each reader would put personal meaning to it. I would like to know what...

What meaning do you make of the parable of The Pearl by John Steinbeck?

Steinbeck called The Pearl a parable and said that each reader would put personal meaning to it.

I would like to know what some people make of the parable, and I would prefer this answered before morning.

THANK YOU!

Asked on by smily23

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mkcapen1's profile pic

mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

I find it interesting that Steinbeck made his comment on the book this way but I can see why.  In the book "The Pearl" the Indian couple is poor and their baby is stung by a scorpion.  The doctor refuses to treat him.  The child begins to heal and his father pulls up a great pearl from the ocean while gathering shells and pearls.

For the couple the pearl means great wealth.  The father begins to envision a better future with comfort and education at a good school for his son.  The people around him begin to come to hear him tell over and over how he had found the pearl.  The doctor comes to treat his son.  He has gone from being nobody to being somebody of value because of the pearl.

He begins to realize that he has to protect his family from people who will steal the pearl.  He takes off with his family to sell it, but on his journey he is tracked by men who would kill him for the pearl.  His son ends up getting killed and he ends up killing someone.  He and his wife return to the village as beaten sorrowful people.  He tosses the pearl back into the ocean.

The relationships in the poem that I saw which I would consider as parables were the message that a man has a few good friends until he gains wealth and then suddenly everyone wants to be his friend.  The second was that greed can be the ruin of mankind.  The story is short but conveys a powerful message.  Before finding the pearl the man and his wife were happy as they were.  Their child had lived through his scorpion bite.  There is the saying that "Money is the root of all evil." In this case the pearl was the route of all evil.

 

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