ERIC Number: ED039246
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970-Feb
Reference Count: 0
"The Pearl" as Tragedy.
Bates, Barclay W.
California English Journal, v6 n1 p41-45 Feb 1970
Despite reservations about the significance of "The Pearl" in relation to John Steinbeck's other works, a case can be made for the novel as an effective exemplification of the Greek tragic form, which Steinbeck has adapted for his own realistic purposes. Although the protagonist Kino lacks high rank and eloquence, he possesses the tragic hero's essential characteristics of intellectual superiority, courage and skill in battle, intuition, and aspiration. However, it is his pride that eventually brings him down. When he convinces himself that he can create the future by predicting it and, later, when he vows to keep the "Pearl of the World," he defies the whole structure of the secular authority as well as the gods themselves. Although Steinbeck is on the side of the rebel, he seems to be saying that Kino has ignored the "life giving relationship between tradition and the individual talent" and must pay for this affront with his most precious possession, the life of his infant son. (JB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Association of Teachers of English, Redlands.
Identifiers: Pearl (The); Steinbeck (John)