For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more… –The Pearl
How is it that some have so much while others go without? A hut versus a grand house. Rags versus silken finery. Character versus emptiness. The Song of Family versus the Song of Evil. Do possessions make one evil? Possessions can make one a slave.
Greed. Materialism. Attributes that are practically glorified these days. The master storyteller does not need hundreds of pages to tell how they corrupt and distort. John Steinbeck is that master storyteller.
All of these themes are explored in The Pearl, the story of a humble fisherman named Kino who finds a treasure he thinks will bring an end to his troubles. Yet, what are his troubles? Before his discovery, he lived peacefully, although simply, with his loving wife and little son.
A master storyteller can affect his reader in less than an hour, as I was last night. And today I look around at my possessions wondering if they belong to me or if it is the other way around.
Read The Pearl and prepare to be changed.