Critical Lens: The Pearl
L.M. Montgomery once said, “we pay a price for everything we get or take in this world.” Every decision and everything we take, in the hopes of bettering our lives, will come with a price a pay. What he is saying is the choices we make in life, whether they be good or bad, consequences are received. These consequences don't necessarily have to be bad nor have to be good on your part. The Pearl by John Steinbeck provides us with a character that gives enormous sacrifices for his dreams of change and hope for a better future.
In The Pearl, John Steinbeck uses powerful symbols to show the enormity of Kino’s hope and loss. The most powerful and reoccurring symbol is the pearl itself. The pearl brought hope into Kino’s life, and then devastated him by taking everything he loves. Throughout the book Kino is fighting and battling for wealth and the equality of his people. However, the pearl brings evil to him and he loses his way of life, his sanity, and his child. The hope and respect that the pearl brought masked the pain and evil that came along with it. Kino hoped that the wealth of the pearl would allow Coyotito to go to school and receive an education and that Kino and Juana would be married in a church.
Kino refused to give up the pearl, and he had to pay by getting Coyotito shot by a rifle. However, Kino also received gender equality and respect. The loss of Coyotito made Juana and Kino become equal because they had both faced the same pain.
There are prices to pay for every decision we make, and those can make or break us. The Pearl by John Steinbeck is an excellent example of how one person can give up a great amount and sacrifice everything for his dreams. Kino struggles with his refusal to rid his family of the pearl and its evil, losing his mind, and being hunted like prey. In the end, he pays for his decisions by losing Coyotito and his way of life.
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