After the success of THE GRAPES OF WRATH author John Steinbeck became uncomfortable with his sudden fame. About this time he reworked an old legend into a new story, which he called THE PEARL. In the story Keno, a pearl diver in a small Spanish village, finds the largest pearl anyone has ever seen. And just in time too, as his baby boy has been stung by a scorpion and needs medical care that Keno cannot afford. The pearl seems to be the solution to all the family's problems ... but is it really a blessing, or is it a curse?
I gave this some serious thought and here's what I came up with:
THE PEARL is about the evils of materialism and how it is better to live without money and be happy. On LOST, the survivors of the crash do almost exactly that near the beginning of the show. They realize that they can live pretty good lives despite their circumstances ... until, of course, they meet The Others. And the last we heard, Rose and Bernard continued to embrace their simplified life despite the changes to the island.
After I exhausted my brain coming up with this I headed over to the official LOST book list and here's what I found:
- The most obvious reference to this book is that there is a Dharma Station called The Pearl. I can't seem to find any relation between the station and the book though.
- The theme of the book - that money doesn't bring happiness, and that too much money actually brings unhappiness - is exemplified in the the show by Hurley and his rotten luck since winning the lottery. Much of that was featured in the episode "Everybody Hates Hugo" (Season 2, Episode 4).
If you'd like to read my complete review, including what I actually thought about the book, click here to view the post on my blog.