The Author: John Steinbeck Biographical Information
Born in Salinas, California in 1902. His father was a county treasurer and his mother was a school teacher. From her, Steinbeck acquired a great love of books.
Steinbeck attended the local high school and worked on farms and ranches during his vacations. Between 1920 and 1926, he studied marine biology at Stanford University, but did not take a degree-he always planned to be a writer. Several of his early poems and short stories appeared in university publications. After college he held a job as a reporter in New York, but was fired because he started to insert his own opinions into the articles he wrote. Steinbeck returned to California. While writing, Steinbeck took odd jobs. He was an apprentice painter, caretaker of an estate, surveyor, fruit-picker and fisherman.
Steinbeck was a naturalistic writer; the search for truth defines the form and content of his works.
He demonstrated firsthand knowledge in writing about actual experiences he had.
The language is “common,” to reflect the realism of his characters who are common.
Steinbeck uses symbolism to add impact to his theme for the cause of the common man.
He takes the simple actions of his story and manipulates their elements to make a statement of human truth, which goes beyond the text. It is important for a reader to recognize that there is more beyond the surface of his narratives.
Also, Steinbeck reveals the interrelatedness of good and evil in his story of man’s condition and position in life
The Pearl may be considered a parable ( a narrative with a moral)
In this narrative a fisherman, who has led a simple, tranquil, existence tries to rise above his station. The Pearl tells of a society with which the protagonist Kino comes in conflict. Throughout the story, Steinbeck shows us a society of prejudice and greed. This is a society that has no intention of allowing an outsider, an unprivileged person, to realize the dream of bettering his life. This society is determined to hold him back.