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In John Steinbecks The Pearl a destitute pearl diver finds a giant pearl with which hehopes to buy peace and happiness for his family Instead he learns that the valuable pearlcan not buy happiness but only destroy his simple life Throughout the fable there is aconstant theme woven through the characters and setting which encompasses the struggleamong social classes to become successful Steinbeck a novelist known for his realisticdepictions of life portrays this motif through Kino the doctor Coyotito and the town ofJohn Earnst Steinbeck author of The Pearl and many other stories was born onFebruary 27 1902 in Salinas California Both his father who ran a flour mill and hismother a teacher encouraged him to write once they saw his early interest in literatureSteinbeck began his career by writing articles for his school newspaper and by takingclasses at Stanford University At the same time he worked at a local ranch where hewitnessed the harsh treatment of migrant workers These underprivileged laborers laterserved as the inspiration for many of his novels including The Grapes of Wrath ThePearl another inspiration from his past originated from a legend about the misfortunes ofa poor boy who found a giant pearl that was told to Steinbeck while on a trip to Mexico Kino the protagonist in The Pearl is an honest pearl diver that discovers thesacrifices that come with the struggle for success He dreams of the education the pearlcould provide for his son but the pearl also makes Kino more suspicious of the peacefulvillagers around him At one point he tries to sell the pearl in order to pay for a doctorCoyotito needs but the pearl buyers only try to cheat him of the success he feels hedeserves Then Kino tries to leave the town but his fear only causes him to shootCoyotito accidentally Finally Kino returns to La Paz and throws the pearl into the seaKino a symbol of hard work and ambition is destroyed by his
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