The Pearl by John Steinbeck Essay

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Many people in the world today grow crazy and mad when surrounded by even the slightest bit of wealth and good fortune. Even a strong person who recognizes their priorities can still become corrupt with too much power. There is no better example of a person falling into the path of evil and corruption than in a novel written by John Steinbeck. In the novel The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, the author writes about a poor Indian man named Kino who becomes corrupt from the wealth of a magnificent pearl. Steinbeck uses the motifs of music, light and dark imagery, and values to develop the theme that good fortune, wealth, and prosperity steer even the most innocent of people towards a path of evil and corruption. The reader learns that one…show more content…
Kino is beginning to realize how at first the pearl seemed to have brought fortune and good to his family, but it really had only brought evil to the family. By the end of the story, Kino and Juana have lost their son, Coyotito, and they wish things were back to the way they were before they found the pearl. Kino then throws the pearl back out into the ocean where he had found it: “And the music of the pearl drifted to a whisper and disappeared” (90). The music disappearing as the pearl sink back into the ocean symbolizes the evil leaving the family: now that the pearl has left, so has the evil. Kino now understands that their “wealth” has brought nothing but evil and has destroyed both himself as well as his family. Not only does Steinbeck use the motif of music to express the theme that good fortune, wealth, and prosperity steer even the most innocent of people towards a path of evil and corruption, but he also uses the motif of light and dark imagery. Steinbeck uses the reoccurring topic of light and dark imagery numerous times throughout his novel to help deliver the theme of how good fortune and wealth lead to corruption. The first night that Kino had possession of the pearl, he was a little on the edge. Then, suddenly, an intruder came into the house: “Kino held his breath to listen, and he knew that whatever dark thing was in his house was holding its breath too, to listen” (37). Darkness symbolizes evil and

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