The Pearl By John Steinbeck Essay

The Pearl By John Steinbeck Essay

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The Pearl by John Steinbeck is a classic novella. Steinbeck is a classic author that also wrote The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. “This long story (or short novel) follows five momentous days in the life of an Indian pearl diver living in La Paz, a small port on the Gulf of California,” (Gunn 1) . Kino is the pearl diver, and his son, Coyotito, gets stung by a scorpion, but the doctor will not see him because of race and status. That is until Kino goes pearl diving and finds a pearl the size of a gull’s egg. After that everything changes for Kino, his family, and the whole village. This novella is set up a lot like a parable in which it is an earthly story with an heavenly meaning. This story has many symbols that point to the overlying theme of evil and teaches us that evil comes from within us and not from outside sources.
The pearl is not the source of evil. Most of the evil in The Pearl shows up after Kino gets the pearl. Kino goes from being a righteous man to being a murderer and the assaulter of his wife, Juana. She even goes so far as to say, “Kino, this pearl is evil. Let us destroy it before it destroys us. Let us crush it between two stones. Let us- let us throw it back to the sea where it belongs. Kino, it is evil, it is evil,” (Steinbeck 56). Kino and his tribe, more particularly Juana, have this misconception that the pearl itself is evil, but an object cannot be evil. No, an object does not possess the power of good and evil morals. It is not the object that it is evil it is the people. It just so happens that the object brought out the true nature of evil that has always existed within man. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all pe...


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...about good and evil,” (Morris 494). In the end of the story after they had found Coyotito dead, “Kino’s hand shook a little, and he turned slowly to Juana and held the pearl out to her,” (Steinbeck 89). After all Kino had been through he gave up all his possible wealth and put the pearl into the sea. He gave up all of his dreams because the loss of his son and the person he had become was not worth possible wealth.
Steinbeck outs a lot of symbols that point to an overlying theme of evil. The pearl is when all the evil begins, but the pearl itself is not evil. It is an item and has no way of being good or evil it is just an item. The songs show the slow change that happened in Kino. He slowly went from a righteous man to a murder and assaulter. Sin exuding from Kino was his choice. Everybody has the choice of what they are going to do and who they are going to be.

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