Proverbs, Parables and the 5 P’s

An Introduction to “The Pearl” By John Steinbeck

A proverb (from the Latin proverbium) is a simple

and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. Proverbs often include the following: alliteration (Forgive and forget) parallelism (Nothing ventured, nothing gained) rhyme (When the cat is away, the mice will play) ellipsis (Once bitten, twice shy)

Examples of Proverbs
A chain is no stronger

than its weakest link. A fool and his money are soon parted. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

A parable is a brief, succinct story, in prose or verse,

that illustrates a moral or religious lesson. A parable is one of the simplest of narratives. It sketches a setting, describes an action, and shows the results. It often involves a character facing a moral dilemma, or making a questionable decision and then suffering the consequences.

Examples of Parables
Some scholars of the New Testament apply the term

"parable" only to the parables of Jesus, though that is not a common restriction of the term. Parables are central to Jesus' teaching method. Lk 13:18,19 He said, "What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches." Matt 13:45,46 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls, who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it."

Examples of Parables: The Good Samaritan
 Luke 10:30-37 Jesus answered, "A certain man was going down

from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, ‘Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.’ Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?" He said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

The 5 P’s: The Elements of Fiction
Point People Plot Place Perspective
Edgar Allan Poe is the

father of the 5 P’s. He wrote one of the first pieces of literary criticism.

The 5 P’s in Short Stories Short stories only emphasize one The 5 P’s in Short Stories

or two of the 5 P’s, often times focusing on plot and people. “The Most Dangerous Game”

Focused on plot and people.

“Thank You M’am”  Focused on people and plot. “Marigolds”  Focused on people and place.

The 5 P’s in Novels Novels, on the other hand, develop The 5 P’s in Novels

all of the 5 P’s. Novels are longer and allow more time to fully develop people, plot lines, places, point, and perspective. Consider this as we begin to read “The Pearl” by John Steinbeck.

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