The Pearl

Stylistically, what does Steinbeck do to make this a universal story? What makes the pearl a parable? Consider the language, the lack of distinct setting or time period, and the lack of proper names for white people.

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There are quite a few questions here for this short-answer forum. Despite the serene description with which Steinbeck begins The Pearl, he also establishes that this existence is a precarious one; Coyotito's encounter with the scorpion illustrates this possibility of danger that the family faces at all times and brings into focus the magnitude of their poverty, showing that their poverty places a tangible price on their existence that Kino may not be able to pay. The scorpion is a symbol of the furtive dangers that threaten Kino and his family, able to strike furtively at any moment. It is therefore analogous to the other enemies that will threaten Kino and Juana: the scorpion secretly enters the house and strikes at them indirectly, instead of presenting a direct and open challenge to them. The story can function as a parable for any greed in the world that envelopes men's hearts and distorts their priorities.