The Pearl By John Steinbeck

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In the novella, The Pearl by John Steinbeck, the main theme is the battle between good and evil. Throughout the story, evil will enter the lives of a certain Mexican-Indian family. This evil is represented in different symbols. Alongside evil were the voices of reason. Though prominent, good still did not overcome evil. As the story unfolds, evil enters into the lives of Kino, his wife, and his son. In chapter one, the evil that enters the family first is the scorpion. The scorpion enters the home of Kino and stings Kino’s baby, Coyotito. After Coyotito was stung, another evil soon came along. This evil was the doctor. When Kino and his wife, Juana, bring Coyotito to the doctor, the doctor refuses to help because they had little to no money. Steinbeck writes: ‘Has he any money?’ the doctor demanded… ‘See if he has any money!’... Now Kino reached into a secret place somewhere under his blanket… last there came to view eight small misshapen seed pearls… The servant took the paper and closed the gate again, but this time he was not gone long. He opened the gate just wide enough to pass the paper back. ‘The doctor has gone out.’ (11, 12) The next evils arises in chapter three, after Kino finds the pearl in chapter two. The first evil is the priest. Near the middle of the chapter, the priest enters Kino’s house looking for the pearl. The priest, though may seem nice, is actually evil. The priest would usually not let Indians get married or baptized unless they had money. The second evil is a mysterious figure. Near the end, Kino is attacked at night by someone who was trying to steal the pearl. This mysterious figure is assumed to be the doctor. Not only did evil develop in the beginning chapters, evil was also prominent in the la... ... middle of paper ... ...aid that Kino should have taken the money. Kino’s brother Juan Tomás was also there to provide reason. Juan repeatedly stated that Kino should get rid of the pearl as soon as the chance pops up. The biggest voice of reason was Kino’s wife, Juana. Not only did she try to reason with Kino, she also tried to get rid of the pearl herself. Juana states in the story that Kino needed to get rid of the pearl as it is evil. One night she tries to take the pearl and throw it in the ocean. If Kino had just let it go, the pearl would have been gone, and their troubles would have ended. In conclusion, evil can overcome a family, no matter the strength of the bond. This evil symbolized pain, greed, and loss. And even though there were voices of reason throughout the story and instances where it all could have ended, evil prevailed. Greed prevailed and caused a series of tragedies.

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