Theme Of Greed In The Pearl

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A Deadly Sin Indeed: The Elements of Fiction that Convey a Theme of Greed in The Pearl
In Matthew 26:16 it says, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Truly, the question posed in this quote is one that applies to the main character, Kino, in John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. Steinbeck composes a narrative, in which the characters are driven by unrelenting greed, resulting in disastrous consequences. Steinbeck is an exemplary author in the genre of tragic, fictional literature. Indeed, Steinbeck effectively utilizes elements of fiction including characterization, symbolism and conflict in order to convey the theme that misery is inevitable when a person’s insatiable greed precedes it. Steinbeck capably uses characterization to show the reader how the characters evolve as the story progresses, while demonstrating how their insatiable greed led to their downfall. Likewise, Steinbeck utilizes symbolism in the story to give seemingly mundane objects a more profound and substantial meaning, that foreshadow the outcome of the characters’ unquenchable greed. Furthermore, Steinbeck effectively uses different types of conflict, namely internal and external, to communicate to the reader the struggles that follow a greedy heart. Through the use of these elements of fiction, Steinbeck is able to show how greed affects these characters and the unavoidable misery that follows. By reading this essay, the reader will understand how Steinbeck uses various elements of fiction to demonstrate the devastating effects of a person’s greed in a world where the evil in people is often far greater than the goodness in people.
First, Steinbeck skilfully uses charac...

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...rtly utilizes conflict throughout the narrative to illustrate the fact that greed was the cause of those conflicts. Steinbeck describes Kino as a loving man, but the pearl awakens such dark greediness in him, that he is corrupted to the point where he beat his wife to make sure the pearl is saved. This conflict with his wife is a direct result of his greediness, and his unrelenting greed leads to his son’s death. John Steinbeck is able to convey the theme that insatiable greed is the precursor to agonizing misery, through the use of various elements of fiction that include characterization, symbolism and conflict. Through these elements of fiction, Steinbeck creates a dark, tragic story that warns of the consequences of greed in a world where everyone is looking out for themselves and their capacity for evil and greed is far outweighs their capacity for benevolence.
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