The Pearl by John Steinbeck

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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 must recognize their priorities and not let material objects affect the practicality of which is their true priorities. The first way that Steinbeck proves the theme that power and riches lead to evil is by the motif of music. Early in the novel Kino finds the Pearl of the World and for the moment nothing could be better for him and his family. The author writes, “Kino held the great pearl in his hand, and it was warm and alive in his hand. And the music of the pearl had merged with the music of the family so that one beautified the other” (23-24). Music symbolizes how happy and fortunate Kino and his family are currently feeling. Kino feels grateful for the luck that has brought him the Pearl of the World. Kino cannot believe his good fortune of finding the pearl and he feels that nothing could make this better and spoil his mood. He can’t help but think about how this pearl is going to help his family. Deeper in the story Kino is staring into the pearl trying to picture his original good... ... middle of paper ... ...ne, wealth, and prosperity steer even the most innocent of people towards a path of evil and corruption. Throughout the novel The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, the author displays multiple motifs. All these motifs have symbolism, which altogether lead to the theme of the story: good fortune, wealth, and prosperity steer even the most innocent of people towards a path of evil and corruption. The reader learns that one must recognize their priorities and not let material objects affect the practicality of which is their true priorities. Often times in the world today people become insane and corrupt when wealth and prosperity come their way. A lot of people think that they can control themselves and that they are different than others, yet even if they are a person who has a high understanding of their real priorities, they still get lost when power comes their way.

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