The Pearl is set in a small fishing village in La Paz Mexico. A year is never mentioned, but it is probably during the early 1900’s. A quote from the book “one big cart going through town in the morning” is evidence that there were no motor vehicles. It is also evident that the pearl divers use no modern diving equipment.
www.juanyjuan.com/ThenAndNow.htm “ Little tufts of grass sprouted with one single rain. The singing heat lay over this desert country, and ahead the stone mountains looked cool and welcoming” – The Pearl
http://www.mexicobuyersguide.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/la-paz-bay.bmp The Pearl by John Steinbeck takes place in the small impoverished town of La Paz Mexico where men would kill for just the very thought of wealth. The setting of The Pearl is important to the message of this book because it describes how poverty stricken the town of La Paz was. So, being in the coastal area of Baja Mexico, one of the major industries was pearl diving. Once Kino found this “Pearl of the World”, of course you could understand the magnitude of it, being that most of the people in La Paz lived in “brush houses”. The “Pearl of the World” brought great and sudden riches to a once penniless Kino, and with all great riches comes great responsibility and problems. Kino never had any education, and once finding “The Pearl of the World” he wanted his infant son, Coyotito to have and education. “ ‘ My son will go to school,’ he said, and the neighbors were hushed… ‘My son will read and open the books, and my son will write and will know writing. And my son will make numbers, and these things will make us free because he will know-he will know and through him we will know”-The Pearl Kino, desperately wanted his son to know what he didn’t, and killed when someone tried to steal that one, and probably only chance of his dream to come true. Because of his act of desperation, they ran. They ran into the mountains. After them were trackers, with a rifle. In the end, Kino’s act of desperation was in vain, for his son was killed while trying to protect him. The moral was to not let the great gift of riches affect you, and that you would be better without it in the first place. What better place to show the immense effects of great wealth then a poverty-stricken town that will never see that much again in ten life times?