Old Man and the Sea vs. the Pearl

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Somewhere between the dawn of time and the present day, man’s foot touched down on the earth for the first time, and from that point on, man had made an eternal connection to an invisible power greater than he: nature. Both being incredibly competent writers, Steinbeck and Hemmingway acknowledged this relationship and used it as fuel for their stories, portraying nature as both an antagonist and a protagonist. Though these two authors had indeed used nature for similar purposes, each had projected their own thoughts of the many possibilities of nature.

Immediately recognizable in Steinbeck’s The Pearl is the undying cruelty of nature. Sending a small, yet extremely deadly soldier from it’s dispensable army of creatures, nature begins it’s attack on Kino’s young son, Coyotito. After this devastating scorpion attack on her family, Juana still has faith in Mother Nature compensating for her wrongdoing, so Juana prays that Coyotito may miraculously recover. Not helping the child straight away, Mother Nature attempts to make amends for her actions by sending Kino a pearl, but not just any pearl. She could have simply sent him a beautiful, normal sized pearl that would have paid the town’s doctor for medicine for Coyotito, but no. Mother Nature had to try and go above and beyond what she owed them, so she gave Kino the pearl. Steinbeck described this pearl as being “the great pearl, perfect as the moon.” It was a pearl of unfathomable value, such value that nature risked jeopardizing the bonds of Kino’s family. Such wealth could have torn them apart in ways described by Steinbeck throughout the story; a man’s manifestation with obtaining riches could harm anyone close to him or in his path, such as Juana and Coyotito. But lucky for these two, Kino was wiser than that, he knew the responsibility of having such power in the shape of a little ball. Maybe this is why Mother Nature instilled the pearl upon Kino, or maybe she was careless and ended up being...
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