A quoted passage frames The Pearl as a story told again and again, and known by everyone in the town. It has become a parable, with stark contrast between good and evil and no in-between. Everyone that hears it considers the tale in relation to his or her own life.
The prologue sets up the townspeople as the collective narrator of the tale to come. It also establishes the story’s universal nature, and thus invites every reader to find connections in it to his or her own life.