John Steinbeck 's The Pearl

Decent Essays
Anyone would be happy to get lucky and win some extra cash. But some things might just make a person cross the line and become greedy. In the novella, “The Pearl”, by John Steinbeck, the protagonist, Kino, struggles with greed when a pearl of great value comes into his possession. Kino learns a lesson when his own greed leads to the destruction of his family. Steinbeck develops the theme that materialism and greed left unchecked can lead to immoral behavior by using the symbol of the pearl, the character of the doctor, and the conflicts between the characters. The pearl is a symbol of greed because a desire for the wealth it might provide brings out the worst in people. For example, when Kino finds the pearl, everyone in the town thinks of how they need the money and what they would use the pearl for. The text says, “It came to the priest walking in his garden, and it put a thoughtful look in his eyes and a memory of certain repairs necessary to the church. He wondered what the pearl would be worth……. The news came to the shopkeepers, and they looked at the men’s clothes that had not sold so well” (21). This shows how the pearl makes people only think for themselves and their personal needs. Another time the pearl is a symbol for greed is when Kino will not sell the pearl to the buyers. Kino says, “I am cheated. My pearl is not for sale here. I will go perhaps even to the capital” (52). Kino gets so caught up in selling the pearl, he lets greed take over. This makes him
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