**spoiler alert** I think that this story would have been better if it were longer, more in-depth and had a more exciting story line.
The book is cente**spoiler alert** I think that this story would have been better if it were longer, more in-depth and had a more exciting story line.
The book is centered around a man named Kino, his wife, Juana and their little boy. When their little boy is stung by a scorpion, Juana sucks out the poison and they take him to the doctor so he could receive medical attention. The doctor, being a pompous white dude, turns them away even when Kino offers up all of his pearls.
Kino then goes diving into the ocean, searching for more pearls so he can make his living, and hopefully save his child's life. It is during this that Kino finds "The Pearl of the World". Shortly after the find it, they seem to believe that his son is feeling better and that Juana sucked out the poison in time and he is okay.
Then the doctor comes and says that he will look at the baby AFTER Kino finds this incredibly important pearl. Personally, I think the doctor MADE the baby sick and then "cured" it so he could get his money, but that's not even the worst part.
Kino starts talking about when he cashes this pearl, he will be a great man. He'll buy a rifle, buy good clothes, remarry his wife in the church, send his boy to school, and will never have to worry again. It is around this time that the book indicates that he is beginning to lose himself in this power - in the pearl itself. Yet, I just think that most of this is because Kino is kind of an asshole.
He takes things entirely too far, is angry all the time, beats his wife almost senseless when she tries to help the family, puts himself AND his family in danger.
When Kino tries to sell the pearl, the pearl dealers, who set the whole thing up, offer him kind of a low price, saying it has no value. Kino's outraged, yada yada yada.
The biggest problems I had with this book came after the pearl dealer part. This is where he beat Juana after she tries to help them. If he would have let her destroy the pearl instead of being a selfish dick, their son might not have died! Not only that, but Kino keeps getting attacked by this unknown man that we don't know. The part that I laugh at is that Kino eventually kills the guy, but still has no clue who he is. Juana asks him who he was and Kino says "I don't know. I didn't see him."
YOU DRAGGED THE MAN INTO A BUSH TO HIDE HIM AFTER YOU MURDERED HIM. YOU AND YOUR WIFE. AND NEVER ONCE DID YOU THINK TO LOOK AT HIS FACE SO YOU COULD FINALLY SEE THE MAN THAT HAS BEEN TERRORIZING YOU?!?!
I'm sorry, but I CANNOT let that go.
And then the ending. Okay, so I was calling the son's death the moment they left the village to go north. I knew just by the way Steinbeck subtly foreshadowed it, and just the way Kino was acting.
Overall, I really did not like the book. I felt like it dragged in some places, and was just boring in others. I felt like if they developed the characters more, got more inside their heads and helped the reader truly identify with them and their feelings. I felt like Steinbeck kept describing Kino's physical feelings like the tightness in his legs. I feel like he should have spent more time talking about his emotions and how he felt apart from being angry. It didn't feel personal enough - I wasn't connected to the characters and I didn't care about them at all, except for maybe Juana. I feel like he focused too much on telling the story instead of the characters.
And the story wasn't that interesting either. I think that if he had made it a bit longer and maybe made it so we followed Kino and his family deep into the wild and saw them fight to survive and, ultimately, become closer as a family and then triumph over their evil. I know this was a tragedy, and, in a way, meant to teach something, but I felt like it would have been a better, more entertaining story.