Author: John Steinbeck
Publisher: Dar al Bihar (2003)
Pages: 247 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
Bilingual English-Arabic version of “'The Pearl”.
Dual language books. The English and Arabic pages are facing each other, matching one-on-one with English on the left page, Arabic on the right page. Easy reference for individuals not strong in one of the languages. Well known fiction titles for different interests and levels.
Description of the Book:
The Pearl is a novel by American author John Steinbeck. It takes place in the 1900's. Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor pearl diver, gathering pearls from the Gulf beds that once brought great wealth to Spain. Pearl diving now provided Kino, Juana, and their infant son Coyotito, with meager subsistence. Unexpectedly, Coyotito gets stung by a scorpion. Kino can't pay for a doctor to heal Coyotito, so he searches for a pearl. Kino then emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a seagull's egg, as "perfect as the moon." With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security at the cost of defying the system. A story about a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man's nature, the darkest depths of evil, and the disastrous effects of stepping out of the established system. Due to the novel's negative portrayal of opportunity and ambition, some suspect that, like much of Steinbeck's work, it advocates socialism. In fact, its criticism of the ruling elites and their dominance in Mexican society along with their clearly negative attitude toward the poor are much stronger arguments for the "socialism" that Steinbeck purportedly advocates.
The Pearl has a strong moral that one should be content with one's life and that greed invites misfortune. The novel presents this view through the character of the Priest, who participates in continuing the oppression of the indigenous people (Kino's race). In the end, Kino looks at the pearl and sees it as something evil. The pearl has changed throughout the story from a sign of hope, to a sign of greed, death, and deceit. He sees the man that he had killed reflected on the surface of the pearl, as well as a vision of his baby Coyotito with his head shot off. In his rage, Kino flings the pearl back into the sea, where it settles into the sand and disappears. The book also conveys messages of oppression and racism in a way that suggests they are negative elements in life.
These special, condensed novels are intended for English speakers to learn Arabic, by reading side by side versions of these simplified famous novels.