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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Pearl by John Steinbeck-Free Online Plot Summary
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TERM PAPER IDEAS AND OTHER TOPICS FOR WRITING

THE PEARL AND OTHER WORKS BY STEINBECK

1. Compare and contrast the use of repeated statements about a dream in The Pearl and Of Mice and Men.

2. Discuss the role of economic and social oppression in The Pearl and The Grapes of Wrath.

3. Compare Kino's isolation to that of two other Steinbeck characters (for example, Lennie and George in Of Mice and Men).

CHARACTERIZATION

1. Do you consider the characters in The Pearl to be flat and stylized, or realistic?

2. Explain the conflict among the old Indian ways, nature, and "civilized" society as it exists within Kino.

3. Compare the relationship between Kino and Juan at the beginning and at the end of The Pearl.


THEMES

1. Explain the theme of class struggle in The Pearl.

2. Discuss the development of social consciousness in The Pearl.

3. Develop one theme that might come from a feminist reading of The Pearl.

4. How is the theme of appearance vs. reality developed in the novel?

5. Describe the role of religion, in general, and the Catholic Church, in particular.

6. Discuss The Pearl as an anticapitalist novel.

FORM AND STRUCTURE

1. Discuss how the parable form is used in The Pearl.

2. Discuss the use of Steinbeck's preface as a technique in the novel. What is its purpose and effect?

3. Describe the biblical motifs in The Pearl and explain their effects.

4. Describe the biological metaphor of the "colonial animal" in The Pearl and explain its purpose.

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