The following interpretation is only one of many which the novel can support, and it need not be seen as the only definitive approach. Basically, there are two forces working through the novel — primitive man alone with his labors, toiling close to nature and possessing an innate dignity; and opposing him, man as a predator, as a parasite or a vampire, sucking at the vein of life and bringing about death and destruction to the more primitive unit. The first group is, of course, represented by Kino, his family and his friends who make up the primitive community of fishermen and divers. Kino and Juana speak very little to each other — it is as though there is no need for words — their communication is innocent and innately understood.
Yet reviewers gave scant praise to these. Steinbeck is trying just a mite too hard to be sensitive and Open to Beauty.
One of the reasons for this might be its length; it is by far the shortest story in the collection, taking only four pages.
|The Short novels of John Steinbeck: critical essays by Jackson J. Benson||An Indian boy, by accident, found a pearl of great size, an unbelievable pearl. He knew its value was so great that he need never work again.|
|John Steinbeck||Roosevelt had just been reelected president.|
|Account Options||Cultural References John Steinbeck had been envisioning his plan for East of Eden well before he began work on it. One of his primary goals for the highly ambitious novel was to tell the story of his maternal family, the Hamiltons, for his two sons John and Thom.|
|A General Critical Approach||The book is much influenced stylistically by the medieval legends with which Steinbeck had become familiar during his boyhood. The protagonist of the book, Henry Morgan, is a brigand, a rugged individualist who is as much a nonconformist as Danny is in Tortilla Flat.|
And Steinbeck's almost verbatim repetition of the tale in chapter twenty-two of The Grapes of Wrath seemed to imply that the earlier piece was a mere draft, a short scene which had no artistic integrity of its own but which needed a larger context.
The narrator, Britch suggests, finds in the old man an unconscious projection of his own more primal tendencies. And most recently, John H. Timmerman has found the significance of the story in its emphasis on the family, pointing ahead to Steinbeck's great theme of the family of man.
And in many ways it is a simple scene, gathered from his walks around the migrant camps of the Salinas Valley from the summer ofwhen Steinbeck set out to experience first-hand what he would be writing John steinbeck critical essays in In Dubious Battle.
The narrator—apparently a migrant picker but perhaps the writer? The young mother fixes hot biscuits and bacon while nursing her child.
The father and grandfather come out of a tent and offer breakfast to the narrator. Dawn breaks as they finish and the two men invite the narrator to come to the cotton fields with them to see if they can get him on; they have been working for twelve days and have new dungarees.
The narrator refuses and walks away down the country road. But that is not the case. There is a wholeness about the story, a completeness about its scene, about the moment which has stayed with the narrator. It is a wholeness not necessarily maintained in the later version.
While many of the details are the same, the major difference lies in the perspective of the character who comes upon the family group.
In The Grapes of Wrath this character is Tom Joad, who has spent the first two-thirds of the novel taking care of his family.
He comes upon the group after they have settled in a government camp, having fled a Hooverville that had been burned by the Farm Association.
Steinbeck includes more dialogue in the novel's version. Tom announces that he plans to look for work, and then the dawn begins to show. The light seems to call the other two from their eating, for they stop as soon as it shows on their faces, bringing with it the promise of another day of work.
When they ask if Tom wishes to come with them, he agrees almost with joy, and there the scene ends. Steinbeck will later subdue the joy when they go to lay pipe and hear that the Farm Association has lowered their wages. The emphasis in the scene from The Grapes of Wrath is very much on the sheer activity; it is a single part of the general waking up of the Weedpatch Camp.
It also stresses the absolute kindness and goodness of the migrant workers, the unity of their families, and their willingness to extend their generosity and concern outside of their own family circles.
In the novel this works towards Steinbeck's increasingly wide definition of the family and contrasts with the hardheartedness of the Farm Association. This comes about because of the much stronger presence of the narrator in the short story.
The reader is consistently aware of the presence of the narrator, consistently aware that all of the events are perceived and interpreted through his perspective.Critical Essays Source of The Pearl Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List In his prose work The Sea of Cortez, a work which describes Steinbeck's and Ed Rickett's explorations in the Gulf of California, Steinbeck reports a story that he heard in the lower California Peninsula; it was reported as a true story occurring in "La Paz in recent.
More John Steinbeck essays: Examples Of The Joads Sticking Together In The Grapes Of Wrath Throughout history, migrants have been faced with social and economic hardships, which has caused them to work together and become a cohesive society.5/5(5).
r-bridal.com: Critical Essays on Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath: John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath (Critical Essays on American Literature Series) () by John Ditsky and a great selection of similar New, Used and Collectible Books available now at great prices. The Grapes of Wrath is generally considered Steinbeck's masterpiece, but the short novel was the form he most frequently turned to and most consciously theorized about, and with constant experimentation he made the form his own.
Much of the best--and the worst--of his writing appears in his short novels. This collection reviews what has been categorized as the "good" and the "bad," looking 4/5(1).
A suggested list of literary criticism on John Steinbeck's The Pearl. The listed critical essays and books will be invaluable for writing essays and papers on The Pearl. Because most of Steinbeck’s short novels were adapted and presented as plays or screenplays, many of the essays deal with dramatic or film versions of the short novels as well as with the fiction.
The collection concludes with a comprehensive checklist of criticism of the short novels.5/5(3).