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The Pearl

The Pearl


by John Steinbeck

The Pearl Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Kino throws away the world’s most valuable pearl. Smart decision? Poor decision? Right decision?
  2. If this book critiques capitalism and the American Dream, why is it set in colonial Mexico?
  3. Why are the intruders, attackers, and trackers in the book faceless?
  4. When Kino and Juana return to La Paz, it is described as "an event that happened to everyone." Everyone in the novel, or everyone in the world? How is this possible?
  5. Kino and Juana are "removed from human experience" upon their return to La Paz. What does this mean? Were they removed by their experience of pain, or did they choose to remove themselves as a recourse to their pain?
  6. To what degree is The Pearl realistic? Where does the realism falter and where does it ring true?

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