After the phenomenal success of The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck should have enjoyed the fame, the wealth, and the Pulitzer Prize this book brought to him. But the public spotlight made him uneasy. In 1944, as he considered the personal impact of his prosperity, Steinbeck began The Pearl. Reworking an ancient legend, Steinbeck created a powerful parable of modern man’s preoccupation with materialism, money, and power. The story is of Keno, a poor fisherman who finds a great, luminous pearl. Although he is sure the fortune it represents will solve all his problems, Keno eventually realizes that the pearl has marked his life forever. The Pearl is a moving tragedy, written in language that is simple yet eloquent.