Schools & Districts
All of Shmoop
Cite This Page
iOS Learning Guide
Kindle: Learning Guide
Nook: Learning Guide
Sony Reader: Learning Guide
Best of the Web
The Pearl Quotes
Table of Contents
AP English Language
AP English Literature
SAT Test Prep
ACT Exam Prep
Search for Colleges
What you want to study:
AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE OPERATIONS, AND RELATED SCIENCES
ARCHITECTURE AND RELATED SERVICES
AREA, ETHNIC, CULTURAL, AND GENDER STUDIES
BIOLOGICAL AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
BUSINESS, MANAGEMENT, MARKETING, AND RELATED SUPPORT SERVICES
COMMUNICATION, JOURNALISM, AND RELATED PROGRAMS
COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES/TECHNICIANS AND SUPPORT SERVICES
COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND SUPPORT SERVICES
ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE/LETTERS
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES/HUMAN SCIENCES
FOREIGN LANGUAGES, LITERATURES, AND LINGUISTICS
HEALTH PROFESSIONS AND RELATED CLINICAL SCIENCES
HEALTH-RELATED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
HIGH SCHOOL/SECONDARY DIPLOMAS AND CERTIFICATES
INTERPERSONAL AND SOCIAL SKILLS
LEGAL PROFESSIONS AND STUDIES
LEISURE AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES, GENERAL STUDIES AND HUMANITIES
MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS
MECHANIC AND REPAIR TECHNOLOGIES/TECHNICIANS
NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PARKS, RECREATION, LEISURE, AND FITNESS STUDIES
PERSONAL AND CULINARY SERVICES
PERSONAL AWARENESS AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT
PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND SOCIAL SERVICE PROFESSIONS
RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING CORPS (JROTC, ROTC)
SECURITY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES
TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION/INDUSTRIAL ARTS
THEOLOGY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS
TRANSPORTATION AND MATERIALS MOVING
VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
District Of Columbia
Search for Colleges
The Pearl Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
Steinbeck paints an incredibly simplistic portrait of greed in The Pearl. It is always evil, it always corrupts, and it brings nothing but suffering. All competition in this novel is unhealthy, and...
Family is idealized in The Pearl – it is "warmth […], safety […], the Whole." Main character Kino protects his family above all else, even the self, and he does so with an almost...
Much of The Pearl is about pursuing wealth and the dangers that such an endeavor brings. Because wealth is so highly valued (for no good reason, the novella argues), men make extraordinary sacrific...
Good vs. Evil
In viewing The Pearl as a parable, good and evil can be seen in very absolute terms. The family is good; greed is evil. Love is good; destruction is evil. Oppressive colonization, corrupt capitalis...
There is no ambiguity in gender roles in The Pearl. The male is the leader of the household. He is dominant, he is the decision-maker, and the family’s welfare rests solely on his shoulders....
The Pearl traces the transformation of man from a civilized being to his most primitive form. This change is instigated by the threat of danger. Animalistic instinct takes over, and morality, laws,...
Man and the Natural World
The natural world is not to be trusted in The Pearl. The setting is composed of mirages, dream-like visions that are false representations of reality. The novel suggests that man makes what he will...
Corrupted power features in The Pearl as the nasty reality of colonial domination and oppression. The Mexican natives of La Paz live on the outskirts of a town of colonizing Europeans, greedy men w...
Religion in The Pearl is an amalgamation of the natives’ belief in superstition, luck, and "the gods" with the colonizing Europeans’ faith in one "God." The novel effectively asks "what...
Dreams, Hopes, and Plans
The Pearl is often hailed as a critique of the American Dream. It argues that opportunity is not equal, and that such an idealistic notion is impossible in a corrupt, imperfect world. Though the ma...
The Pearl argues that events are essentially arbitrary – it just comes down to luck. In the universe of this story, tragedy is explainable, irrational, and unjust. The characters grasp at str...
Need help with College?
© 2013 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved. We love your brain and respect your privacy. |
© 2013 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved. We love your brain and respect your privacy.