Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on John Steinbeck's The Pearl. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Pearl: Context
The Pearl: Plot Summary
The Pearl: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Pearl: Themes
The Pearl: Quotes
The Pearl: Characters
The Pearl: Symbols
The Pearl: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of John Steinbeck
Historical Context of The Pearl
Other Books Related to The Pearl
- Full Title: The Pearl
- When Written: 1944
- Where Written: California
- When Published: 1947
- Literary Period: Modernist novel
- Genre: Novella/ Parable
- Setting: La Paz, Baja California Sur
- Climax: Kino’s beating of Juana and his killing of a man in protection of the pearl
- Point of View: Third person (from the perspective of the villagers who pass down the tale through generations)
Extra Credit for The Pearl
From Kino to Kino. It is assumed that Kino was named after Eusebius Kino, a Jesuit missionary who explored the Gulf region in the 17th century.
From Film to Fiction. Steinbeck wrote The Pearl on an invitation from Emilio Fernandez, a well-known Mexican filmmaker, to write a screenplay depicting Mexican life. In consequence, The Pearl features few characters, simple and intense action, and cinematic viewpoints.