Greed In The Pearl

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

When a man gets into a cycle of work, food, and family, anything that disrupts this cycle can be detrimental. In the novel, The Pearl, written by John Steinbeck, the Pearl of the World causes this crease in Kino’s cycle. Kino does everything in his willpower to protect the magnificent pearl from harm 's way and to ensure the glamorous future of his family, even though evil and death is concealed around every corner. The Pearl explores the theme of effect of money and greed which is shown through symbolism of the songs and the coin, foreshadowing by the characters, and concern with the future rather than the present. As an Indian man growing up in poverty with the only worth to his name is a canoe handed down
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When Kino looks into the reflection of the pearl, he only sees himself and the echoing of the Song of Evil. As neighbors come to see the Pearl of the World, Kino holds the pearl tightly in his palm. The Song of Evil blasts over the excitement of the town. But when Kino loosens his grip on the pearl or lets someone else hold the treasure, he hears the Song of Family. This symbolizes Kino’s obsession and lust for the luxurious pearl and the wealth which comes with it. Kino turns into a different man when he is around the pearl. He believes the pearl is his greatest treasure, when in reality it is his greatest enemy. The Songs help tell the story of the shattering of Kino’s thoughts and emotions. The pearl destroys Kino and turns him into a man who is fixated with money and engulfed with…show more content…
As Kino approaches the pearl buyer’s store, the pearl buyer graciously flips a coin between his fingers. As the sound of stomping feet gets nearer, “the fingers worked faster and faster until, as the figure of Kino filled the doorway, the coin flashed and disappeared” (Steinbeck 62). The pearl buyer keeps a calm, relaxed face when talking to Kino but secretly “his fingers worked with a furious pace” (Steinbeck 63). The coin symbolizes the pearl buyer’s anxiousness and excitement to see such a beautiful pearl. As Kino reveals the pearl and drops it on the desk, “there was no sign, no movement, the buyer’s face did not change, but the secret hand behind the desk missed in its precision. The coin stumbled over a knuckle and slipped silently into the dealer’s lap” (Steinbeck 63). The buyer then offers Kino a demoralizing deal and the fingers began to roll over another coin in his
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