Plot[ edit ] Above the town of Monterey on the California coast lies the shabby district of Tortilla Flat, inhabited by a loose gang of jobless locals of Mexican-Indian - Spanish-Caucasian descent who typically claim pure Spanish blood. The central character Danny inherits two houses from his grandfather where he and his friends go to live. Most of the action is set in the time of Steinbeck's own late teenage and young adult years, shortly after World War I.
Summary[ edit ] The Pearl, which takes place in La Paz, Mexico, begins with a description of the seemingly idyllic family life of Kino, his wife Juana and their infant son, Coyotito.
Kino watches as Coyotito sleeps, but sees a scorpion crawl down the rope that holds the hanging hammock where Coyotito lies. Kino attempts to catch the scorpion, but Coyotito bumps the rope and the scorpion falls on him. Although Kino kills the scorpion, it still stings Coyotito. Juana and Kino, accompanied by their neighbors, go to see the local doctor, who refuses to treat Coyotito because Kino cannot pay.
Kino and Juana take Coyotito down near the sea, where Juana uses a seaweed poultice on Coyotito's shoulder, which is now swollen. Kino dives for oysters from his canoe, hoping to find a pearl he can sell to pay the doctor. He finds a very large oyster which yields an immense pearl, which he dubs "The Pearl of the World".
The news that Kino has found an immense pearl travels fast through La Paz. Kino's neighbors begin to feel bitter toward him for his good fortune, but neither Kino nor Juana realize this feeling that they have engendered.
Juan Tomas, Kino's brother, asks him what he will do with his money, and he envisions getting married to Juana in a church and dressing Coyotito in a yachting cap and sailor suit. He claims that he will send Coyotito to school and buy a rifle for himself.
The local priest visits and tells Kino to remember to give thanks and to pray for guidance. The doctor also visits, and although Coyotito seems to be healing, the doctor insists that Coyotito still faces danger and treats him.
Kino tells the doctor that he will pay him once he sells his pearl, and the doctor attempts to discern where the pearl is located Kino had buried it in the corner of his hut. That night, a thief attempts to break into Kino's hut, but Kino drives him away. Juana tells Kino that the pearl will destroy them, but Kino insists that the pearl is their one chance and that tomorrow they will sell it.
The next day, Kino goes to sell his pearl. Unknown to him, the pearl dealers in La Paz are in cahoots with each other, secretly conspiring to make it appear as though the prices offered are competitive when they are defrauding the natives. They offer Kino a thousand pesos for the pearl, when Kino believes that it is worth fifty thousand.
Kino refuses to sell to the pearl dealers and decides to go to the capital instead. That night, Kino is attacked by more thieves, and Juana once again reminds him that the pearl is evil. However, Kino vows that he will not be cheated. Later that night, Juana attempts to take the pearl and throw it into the ocean, but Kino finds her and beats her for doing so.
A group of men accost Kino and knock the pearl from his hand. Juana watches from a distance, and sees Kino approach her, limping with another man whose throat Kino has slit.
Juana finds the pearl, and they decide that they must leave even if the killing was in self-defense. Kino finds that his canoe has been damaged, their house torn up, and the outside set afire. They stay with Juan Tomas and his wife, Apolonia, where they hide for the next day before setting out for the capital that night.
Kino and Juana travel during the night and rest during the day. When Kino believes that he is being followed, the two hide and Kino sees several bighorn sheep trackers who pass by him.
Kino and Juana escape into the mountains, where Juana and Coyotito hide in the cave while Kino goes to deal with the trackers.
As Kino is approaching, the trackers hear a cry which they decide is merely a coyote pup, and shoot in the direction of the cries to silence them.
At that moment, Kino attacks, killing all three trackers. However, Kino can hear nothing but the cry of death, for he soon realizes that it was Coyotito's crying that the trackers heard, and the shot had killed Coyotito.
Juana and Kino return to La Paz, Kino carrying a rifle stolen from the one of the trackers he killed, while Juana carries the dead Coyotito. The two approach the gulf, and Kino, who now sees the image of Coyotito with his head blown off in the pearl, throws it into the ocean. Setting[ edit ] Steinbeck began writing the story as a movie script  inand first published it as a short story called "The Pearl of the World" in Woman's Home Companion in December Loneliness and Lenny in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men - The Great Depression was a period in the ’s when America was in a state of economic collapse.
In his journal, John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and.
The Winter of Our Discontent (Penguin Classics) - Kindle edition by John Steinbeck, Susan Shillinglaw. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.
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Titles from Open Response Questions* Updated from an original list by Norma J.
Wilkerson. Works referred to on the AP Literature exams since (specific years in parentheses). Easily one of America's most important novelists, John Steinbeck has been a favorite among readers of all kinds for decades. New essays describe the social and historical contexts to which Steinbeck responded in his work, evaluate the novelist's relationship with literary naturalism, and offer an ecofeminist reading of the stories of The Long Valley.
Critical Essays Critical Evaluation East of Eden What is the summary for Chapter 34 of East of Eden? Steinbeck-as-narrator reflects on .