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The Gem by John Steinbeck is really a short story or novelette obtained from a Mexican folk tale. Like a popular public school studying, many understand this tale of avarice and recognition. But on closer examination, this tragic story is actually about many of us–our loves and hates, our dreams and fears, our joys and sufferings. If read and discussed by having an eye toward natural law, human instinct and growth and development of character, this story has the ability to educate us much.