The Pearl By John Steinbeck: Theme Analysis

441 Words1 Page

John Steinbeck’s novella, The Pearl, is written as a parable, which allows the reader to interpret its themes in their own way. It can take place in any time period, with any setting, and using any protagonist. The themes Steinbeck used throughout his book are universal and can applied to anyone’s lives. Its contrasting portrayal of good and evil creates a clear understanding of themes such as greed, illusions, and humanity and reason versus animalism and instinct. One of the most common and prominent themes of The Pearl is greed. One of the first examples of this is when Kino went to the doctor to beg for treatment, but the doctor responded, "‘Has he any money?’ the doctor demanded. ‘No, they never have money. I, I alone in the world am supposed to work for nothing- and I am tired of it. See if he has any money!’” (Steinbeck 11). Many would consider it unethical to refuse treatment to someone simply because of their poverty. The doctor refusing to cure the ill child shows how greed has corrupted him to the point of having an innocent baby die rather than offering up his services for free. Another early instance of greed was when the news of the pearl “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” (Steinbeck 21). Even the people of God, those believed to have the highest morals, became materialistic. He who is supposed to be satisfied with just the love of the lord suddenly hungered for more. This greed eventually came to Kino when Juana suggested throwing away the pearl, but Kino replied, “‘No,’ he said. ‘I will fight this thing. I will win over it. We …show more content…

On page 30, the doctor gives the illusion to Kino and Juana that he had cured Coyotito, despite only making him more ill. This mask of ignorance is put over their eyes so that the doctor can rob

Open Document