Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews September 30, 2023
September 23, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
*See discount terms and conditions.
Do you think that Steinbeck intends for the paisanos to be viewed as model citizens or heroes? Why or why not?
Although there is no definite answer to this question, it seems like Steinbeck is aware of the faults of the paisano lifestyle. He never tries to hide the fact that they are committing crimes. Rather than portraying the paisanos as model citizens, he seems to be trying to show that they possess certain values that he sees lacking in his contemporary society. The paisanos have a degree of freedom that no one with a job, responsibility, or commitment can experience. They can spend their days any way that they want to. Instead of wasting their days trying to earn money or seduce women, or make names for themselves, they lay around relishing in the joys of companionship and nature. Steinbeck seems to be trying to point out that in the complexity of modern life, simple pleasures like freedom and friendship are often overlooked in favor of luxury and comfort.
Instead of modeling our lives after the paisanos, a good idea would be to apply the things that make their lives so endearing to our own. Like Pilon, we should pause occasionally to appreciate the wonders of nature and spirituality. Like the Pirate, we should occasionally trust our friends instead of always suspecting them of plots. Like Jesus Maria, we should care less about acquiring luxury for ourselves when there are people so much less fortunate than ourselves. Like Big Joe, sometimes we should just sleep. And finally, like Danny, we should do all that we can to enjoy our lives and not dwell on the fact that death is coming for us all, but rage against it instead.
Do you think that Pilon and the rest of the conspirators would really have helped the Pirate, or would they have taken advantage of him and spent his money greedily?
Right up until the moment in which the Pirate hands over the money, the paisanos were willing to at least divert part of it. The narrator comments, "So it was over, all hope of diverting the money
. [T]heir defeat was bitter. There was nothing in the world they could do about it. Their chance had come, and it had gone." When the Pirate gives them the money and then tells them the story about the sick dog, he appeals to their morals with his simplicity, innocence, and sincerity. There is no way that any of the paisanos would have been able to justify the theft to their consciences after they knew the purpose of the money.
If the paisanos had somehow acquired the money before the Pirate could hand it over, however, it is reasonable to assume that they would have scammed him out of some part of it. Pilon thought that the Pirate was only hiding the money because he was not intelligent enough to know what to do with it. He would have made sure that the pirate was taken care of, but then he would have appropriated the rest of the money for his services.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Tortilla Flat!