Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Pearl, by John Steinbeck

3.5 stars

Even the simplest of John Steinbeck’s stories carry a timeless power, and The Pearl is no exception. 

Apparently the re-telling of a Mexican folk-tale, here we meet fisherman Kino and his family. When Kino’s baby, Coyotito, is stung by a scorpion, they are turned away by the avaricious doctor that resides in town due to their lack of money. Then Kino finds a great pearl, as big as a seagull egg, and everything changes. As those around him try to chisel some fortune for themselves out of his luck, or cheat him of it entirely, Kino becomes harder, prouder and fearful for his family – and with good reason.

An effective parable illustrating how capitalism only really benefits the few, while the rest of us are chewed up and spat back out, Steinbeck should be mandatory reading for everyone who puts profit before people.

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