The Pearl
The Pearl By Steinbeck, John Book - 2002 | John Steinbeck centennial ed. (1902-2002)

The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, is a story about Kino, his wife Juana and his young son Coyotito. After Kino’s son gets a serious scorpion bite, the couple rush to the town doctor, hoping to get treatment. However, they are turned away, since they were poor and could not pay the price. In order to try and get enough money to pay for the treatment of their son, Kino and Juana rush out to sea to find pearls. While diving, Kino finds an incredible large pearl, and the neighborhood celebrates Kino and his family. The doctor treats Coyotito after hearing about the pearl, so Kino tries to go into town to sell the pearl to pay back the doctor. Unfortunately, the buyers refused to pay the fair price for the pearl, so Kino planned to go to the Capital. Some events ensue, causing the family to be on the run, with Kino still keeping the pearl, despite those around him saying that it is a bad omen.

This story is a classic story of a poor man turning rich and allowing greed to consume him. Although I do agree that greed is not a good thing and wealth is not the most important, I do not completely agree with the author’s portrayal of this message. Although Kino became greedy with the pearl, I do not think it is a sin to want a better life for you and your family. Kino just wanted to give his son a better life than what he was able to provide. Who could blame him for wanting to keep the pearl, which could launch him and his family out of poverty? The message about not allowing greed to consume you is a good one, however I do not think that making Kino seem like an evil character helps prove that point.

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