The Black Pearl Ideas for Reports and Papers
by Scott O'Dell

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Many comparisons and contrasts may be drawn between The Black Pearl and Herman Melville's classic sea novel, Moby-Dick. Examine the plots, characters, and themes of each and explain the similarities and differences you see.

2. Compare The Black Pearl to a familiar legend or myth. Show how the novel follows the traditional pattern and how it departs from it.

3. Compare The Black Pearl with John Steinbeck's novel The Pearl which is based on the same story. Explain the differences in theme between the two books.

4. O'Dell's Mexican pearlers reflect a culture very different from that of the contemporary U.S. Explain the differences in values and beliefs that are visible in the novel.

5. Research the area of Baja (pronounced "Ba-ha") California and report on its culture and people. Does O'Dell give us an accurate portrait or not?