Download a printable PDF of these questions here.

Directions: Use one to three main idea chunks (supporting claim, textual evidence, analysis) to answer the questions below in preparation for our Socratic seminar on The Pearl. Make sure every response uses evidence by using the three-steps for embedding evidence below! When you’re finished, please highlight the textual evidence used in every answer so it is easy to refer back to on the day of the seminar.

Required Questions

  1. Which two abstract concepts explored within the text are most significant to modern society?
    • First, provide at least two pieces of textual evidence of each abstract concept.
    • Second, stretch one of these abstract concepts into a thematic statement.
    • Third, explain how this thematic statement still applies to today’s society.
  2. John Steinbeck is notorious for writing stories with heartbreaking endings. Why might Steinbeck have ended the story the way he did? Was the tragic ending necessary to the theme you identified in the first question?
  3. Intelligent individuals understand that the questions they ask communicate much more about their intelligence than their answers to other questions. Using the four-step process, write a level-three question about one of the abstract concepts explored in the novel.
    • To learn how to write level three questions, click here or watch the video below.
  4. Several of the texts, movies, and songs that we’ve analyzed explore the concepts of corruption and loss of innocence. Consider the similarities and differences between these texts. Then, complete the following steps:
    • First, brainstorm a list of abstract concepts that might cause corruption or loss of innocence.
    • Next, come up with an umbrella term that encompasses all of the reasons you’ve listed above. This should also be an abstract concept.
    • How can people avoid corruption on an individual level?

Optional Questions: Pick Two

  1. Parables are short stories that teach a lesson, and they are typically full of figurative language and symbolism. Identify at least two symbols from The Pearl. What abstract concept might they symbolize? Use textual evidence to support your response.
  2. Steinbeck is frequently lauded for his strong use of beautiful imagery. Authors typically create imagery by focusing on sensory details, writing unique similes, and using extended metaphors.
    • First, find and analyze two pieces of imagery from the text: one that uses sensory details, and one that uses either simile or metaphor.
    • Second, compare and contrast those two pieces of imagery.
    • Third, answer the following question: How can novice writers use imagery to strengthen their narrative writing skills?
  3. Many authors use foreshadowing to provide clues about what will happen later in the story. How does Steinbeck use foreshadowing to provide clues about the final events in The Pearl? How does this foreshadowing enhance the suspense at the end of the book? Use textual evidence to support your response.