One of the most overrated pieces of tripe I've ever read, I do not recommend The Pearl
to anyone. Steinbeck takes a fable and makes it into even more
of a morality tale, if that's even possible.
If you've ever read my reviews, you'll know that I absolutely hate morality tales. With a fiery passion. If you want to have overwrought morals, write a fable. Write a book of pithy one-liners and market it as "empowering" self-help lit. But don't drag the rest of fiction down with the ship.
I have no problem with themes or morals within stories; it's great to see how characters use these to make it through the plot. But when the sole purpose of your "fiction" is to bash me on the head with your morality anvil, I'd rather avoid the concussion entirely.