Essay on Struggling with Greed in John Steinbeck’s "The Pearl"

Essay on Struggling with Greed in John Steinbeck’s "The Pearl"

Length: 742 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Pearl written by John Steinbeck is a parable, a story that teaches a moral lesson. The focus of this novel is on a poor Indian family. The family consists of three members: Kino, a husband, father, and fisherman, Juana, his wife and loving mother; and Coyotito their infant son. This indigent family lives in a small brush hut along the Gulf of Mexico by the town of La Paz. One day Coyotito, is bitten by a scorpion; a scorpion sting can be deadly to a baby. Kino and Juana are very worried over the health of their baby; therefore, they hope to find a pearl worthy enough for the doctor’s payment to the doctor to treat Coyotito. With luck on their side, Kino finds a pearl the size of a seagull’s egg; he calls it “The Pearl of the World.” This novel like others, is centered around a major theme; the theme of a literary work is defined as the main idea, concern or purpose about life that the author wants to convey to his or her reader. John Steinbeck in his novel The Pearl reveals the vital theme of Kino and his family’s struggle with greed.
This major theme of greed presented throughout the novel is a common human phenomenon that most people have experienced in their lifetime. One example of this vital theme of greed occurs when a scorpion stings Coyotito. Kino, Juana, and everyone in their village are hoping the doctor will treat their sickly infant. After arriving at the doctor’s home, Kino knocks on the door. The doctor’s servant comes to the door and Kino informs him of Coyotito’s sickness. The servant closes the door and goes to report this case to the doctor. The disgruntled doctor has this reaction to the servant:
The doctor put his cup down gently before he let his anger rise. Have I nothing better to do ...

... middle of paper ...

... Kino and Juana have to act fast; Kino has an idea: “If I get first to the one with the rifle, I must get him first, then I will be alright. Two are sleeping…They will see your white clothes…No, and I must go before moonrise” (83). When Kino states his idea, he is really thinking more about safe guarding his pearl than his family. Kino is willing to risk his life and plans to murder the trackers because he is extremely greedy.
This parable entitled The Pearl written by John Steinbeck teaches readers lessons about life and people. Steinbeck uses a universal struggle with greed to embody his innermost idea and concerns about life that he conveys in this novel. In conclusion, John Steinbeck meant for his readers of The Pearl to take away a lesson or message from the struggle of greed and avail themselves to apply the lessons or messages to their everyday lives.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Greedy Are in Want in John Steinbeck’s "The Pearl"

- Horace, an ancient Roman poet, once said: "He who is greedy is always in want." This quote clearly depicts the main theme or message of John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. The Pearl is a parable that teaches a moral lesson and expresses the theme that the greed a person may have with materialism can lead to events that will determine one’s fate or the fate of others around them. This novel tells the story of a poor Indian family, who lives in a small brush hut along the Gulf of Mexico and by the neighboring village of La Paz....   [tags: John Steinbeck, Pearl, greed, ]

Better Essays
900 words (2.6 pages)

Greed Overpowers All in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Essay

- People wonder how a human would change when his/her surroundings change. Will they change for the better or worse. Will they still be willing to go out of their way to help those how are around them. John Steinbeck shows us in The Grapes of Wrath how a person can change when they have nothing. He shows us how when people are desperate, they would do anything to further themselves and only themselves. Most of all, he shows us how greed overpowers anything and everything when times are desperate. This motif assists in developing a major theme in the book....   [tags: change, desperate, greed, advance]

Better Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Foreshadowing, By John Steinbeck

- Foreshadowing plays a part in many famous books, but John Steinbeck’s usage of foreshadowing surpasses most authors. For instance, Lennie’s death is foreshadowed early in the book. Steinbeck uses foreshadowing to predict major events, but he also creates plot twists by using various types of foreshadowing and letting readers misinterpret the foreshadowing. There are several examples of foreshadowing that achieve the same result as Lennie’s death, but at the same time, foreshadowing may mislead people....   [tags: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck]

Better Essays
806 words (2.3 pages)

The Pearl By John Steinbeck Essay

- “Juana, in her woman’s soul, knew that the mountain would stand while the man broke himself; the sea would surge while the man drowned in it” (60-61). The Pearl by John Steinbeck tells a story of a woman, Juana, and a man, Kino, finding ‘the Pearl of the World.’ In this pearl, the couple has hope for their only child, Coyotito, to acquire aid from the doctor to heal the baby’s deathly scorpion bite. However, Kino sees more in the pearl and becomes obsessed with its golden opportunities it can provide for his family, despite the danger it brings....   [tags: John Steinbeck, Woman, Novella, Husband]

Better Essays
1119 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

- The media makes a significant contribution to the depiction of today 's society. Unfortunately, the news coverage focuses only on the misdeeds and crimes that people commit. Although it has been 76 years since John Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath, his argument exploring the reason behind humanity 's tendency to be evil during the Dust Bowl migrant flight to California is applicable to the motivation behind crimes committed today. Throughout Chapter 25 of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, he uses the progression of Utopia being destroyed by men through the allusion to the Garden of Eden and the event of Eve biting the apple....   [tags: John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, Dust Bowl]

Better Essays
1190 words (3.4 pages)

The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck Essay example

- John Steinbeck, born as John Ernst Steinbeck on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California, is one of the most famous American writers of the 20th century. He was born to John Ernst Steinbeck, Sr., a businessman, manager, and accountant, and Olive Hamilton, a former school teacher. Steinbeck grew up in Salinas Valley and became very appreciative of nature (American National Biography). Salinas was a very important place to Steinbeck as this is where he spent most of his time during the Depression’s darkest times, and many of his novels are set in Salinas....   [tags: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, Great Depression]

Better Essays
2279 words (6.5 pages)

The Pearl By John Steinbeck Essay

- The Pearl “…Kino’s brain cleared from its red concentration and he knew the sound—the keening, moaning, rising hysterical cry from the little cave in the side of the stone mountain, the cry of death”(Steinbeck, 1947, p. 87). In the novel, The Pearl, John Steinbeck presented a family of three and a pearl to demonstrate how the power of greed and selfishness from wealth can impact and destroy a once content family. An example of how John Steinbeck became an advocate for the oppressed and social reform by addressing the societal differences and class struggles among the people of La Paz is in a parable he wrote called The Pearl....   [tags: John Steinbeck, The Pearl, Novella, La perla]

Better Essays
1037 words (3 pages)

The Pearl, By John Steinbeck Essay

- Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness When a man gets into a cycle of work, food, and family, anything that disrupts this cycle can be detrimental. In the novel, The Pearl, written by John Steinbeck, the Pearl of the World causes this crease in Kino’s cycle. Kino does everything in his willpower to protect the magnificent pearl from harm 's way and to ensure the glamorous future of his family, even though evil and death is concealed around every corner. The Pearl explores the theme of effect of money and greed which is shown through symbolism of the songs and the coin, foreshadowing by the characters, and concern with the future rather than the present....   [tags: John Steinbeck, Novella, La perla, The Pearl]

Better Essays
1607 words (4.6 pages)

The Pearl by John Steinbeck Essay

- The Pearl by John Steinbeck      The Pearl by John Steinbeck. This book takes place in Mexico during the nineteen hundreds in the city of La Paz.      The main characters are Kino an Indian pearl diver who finds the magnificent pearl and whose life is partially destroyed by this pearl. Juana is Kino's wife and faithful partner and she is obedient and devoted to her family. Coyotito is Kino and Juana's infant son he is bitten by a scorpion and recovers miraculously only to be later killed by a bullet....   [tags: The Pearl John Steinbeck]

Free Essays
418 words (1.2 pages)

Essay The Harvest Gypsies, by John Steinbeck

- A major drought, over-cultivation, and a country suffering from one of the greatest depressions in history are all it took to displace hundreds of thousands of Midwesterners and send them, and everything they had, out west. The Dust Bowl ruined crops all across the Great Plains region, crops that people depended on for survival. When no food could be grown and no money could be made, entire families, sometimes up to 8 people or more, packed up everything they had and began the journey to California, where it was rumored that jobs were in full supply....   [tags: John Steinbeck]

Better Essays
1724 words (4.9 pages)