A pearl which loses its lustre...unlike its story,
This review is from: The Pearl Intermediate (Paperback)
Beautifully descriptive...enabling the sea, the mountains, the characters and community to become real. Kino, Juana and their baby Coyotito live a simple but content life which is interpreted through the 'The Song of the Family' which evokes Kino's feelings when he feels warm and happy :)
A short and simple story which unsurprisingly (because it's Steinbeck) holds a deep understanding of people and communities. The people in the village form their beliefs on experience which they translate into either being (or not being) God's will. They believe every person has a 'station' which they mustn't get above, and each person is meant to 'guard' their part of the universe...the role God meant for them. By believing this they effectively limit their own lives and dreams and yet...because their lives are generally hardworking yet happy, is this such a bad thing?
The authority figures in the story (the doctor and the priest) are powerful in their knowledge and the villagers (although Kino is suspicious) have to believe and trust them. I found Kino's thoughts on page 15 quite poignant,
"He was trapped as his people would always be trapped, and would be, until they could be sure that the things in the books were really in the books."
This increases the irony that the message (the knowledge!) of this tale is being passed on through a book.
As usual with Steinbeck, an uncomfortable ending, yet the right ending somehow.