Teacher Guide

The Pearl Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Pearl

John Steinbeck wrote The Pearl after winning the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath, one of his greatest works. He based The Pearl, a novela that comments on the American dream, upon the biblical parable, a "pearl of great price," in which a merchant trades everything he has for a great jewel, which itself becomes a metaphor for Heaven. In the story, the main character, Kino, has to deal with the challenges that come with his discovery of a great pearl. Aspects of The Pearl are inspired by Steinbeck's travels and the themes he would come to focus on in later works, such as the plight of the impoverished. The Mexican town of La Paz, where the story is set, may have been inspired by...

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