Symbolism In The Pearl By John Steinbeck

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The pearl, composed by John Steinbeck, highlights the journey of an impoverished family that struggles to save their child while ignoring the evils and prejudice of their community. Kino, the father, discovers the Pearl of the world, which he desires to sell as payment for treating his child. However, the greed that follows the pearl corrupts the content and happy family prior the discovery of the treasure as they struggle to forsake the consequences of their creation. The author expresses symbolic changes in the pearl that can distinguish as opportunity, greed, and destruction. Upon unearthing the magnificent pearl, it is seemingly an object of hope. “And in the incandescence of the pearl the pictures formed by the things Kino’s mind had considered in the past and had given up as impossible” (John Steinbeck). The promise of prosperity the pearl conveys momentarily halts their troubles and the ridiculous thoughts of marriage and an education for their son was a possibility.“This is our one chance… our son must go to school. He must break out of the pot that holds us in”(John
Initially, the pearl represents hope and goodness as he sees it as a way for a better future for him and his family. However, the greed that arises in the community and himself corrupts the pearl’s symbolic meaning. Consequently, Kino’s avarice provokes him to kill a man who attempts to steal the pearl, resulting in the abandonment of his home. Upon fleeing, the pearl is yet again, figuratively transitioned from greed to destruction. His impulsiveness to attack the trackers following them results in the unnecessary death of his child. They both are detached from the Earth as they return to La Paz and the pearl that constitutes an opportunity to relieve himself of his problems, consequences in the destruction of everything he holds

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