Critical Analysis of the Pearl by John Steinbeck

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Last updated: June 23, 2019

Social classes were widely separated in the world which John Steinbeck knew. The differences between the lower class and the upper class were very obvious. Unlike today, there was no such thing as a middle class.

A person was either categorized as very rich or very poor. Steinbeck used his writings to share his most inner views about the society which he lived in. Steinbeck used The Pearl as an eye opener to the problems that placing roles on a society can bring. People were not treated equally, and, Steinbeck was pushing for a world that was fair and just toall people.Steinbeck was an advocate for social reform. Steinbeck’s book, The Pearl, was a simple story which illustrated a great moral meaning.

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After reading this parable, Steinbeck’s readers were able to get a small glimpse into his views on social reform. His readers, past and present, are able to relate to the morals that he uses to bring this book alive. Even though people had hopes of changing their lifestyles, The Pearl shoes the world an example of just how much evil can come about when a person tries to take on too much change in their lives.The Pearl makes it very clear to it’s readers that there are definitely certain roles in society which people are automatically born into. The way that Steinbeck portrays the characters allows us to feel the sorrow for Kino and his family for being poor; however, we also can see that he is making the point that change is not always the answer. By demonstrating such strict roles of the society during the scenes from the book, Steinbeck is trying to portray to his readers what their world is actually like.

As seen in the parable, equality was something that people didn’t acknowledge. People were categorized and labeled according to how they were born and how they compared to the society around them. People were not given a fair chance at life like we see in our world today. The way society labeled each person had a huge impact on their everyday life. The poor were looked down upon just as if they were ignorant animals. The Pearl used many examples to show just how unfair the poor were treated.

Every important aspect of their life was not determined by necessity. Medical treatment, clothing, food, homes, and even marriage were all controlled. Steinbeck was one who wanted the world to be a more equal world. He didn’t believe in the harsh differences which separated people.

He wanted a more reformed world so that all people would be allowed to receive the same things. He wanted all people to be able to receive the necessary things for life, not just the rich.


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