By John Steinbeck
The setting of the story was primarily in an impoverished Mexican-Indian community in La Paz, roughly around the 1900s.
Kino is a prime example of a developing character. From beginning to the end, he develops drastically. At the beginning, he was thought out to be a good loyal husband, but as time went on, he became a selfish, greedy individual who would do anything for money. Juana was Kino's young wife. She was respectful, and very tolerant towards Kino. Coyotito was Kino and Juana's only child. Juan Tomas was Kino's brother, and Apolonia was his wife; both had four children, and very little is known about both of them. The doctor was a very stout, and greedy man, and didn't heal, or treat his patients if they didn't have money.
The conflict began when a scorpion stung Coyotito. He became very ill, and the doctor refused to cure Kino's son for the reason that they had no money. On that very same day, Kino found the pearl that would change his life, as well as the people around him. The pearl brought great danger to Kino and his family. Everybody in the community knew about Kino's finding, which resulted in everybody desiring the pearl.
Ever since King Midas' lust for gold, it appears to be that man has acquired a greed and appetite for wealth. Kino, Juana, and the doctor have all undergone a change due to money. They're all affected by their hunger for wealth and are the base for their own destruction, and the destruction of society. The theme of The Pearl is mainly of man's self-destruction through greed, and the hunger for wealth.
There are several different symbols in this story. The scorpion that stung Coyotito could simply mean the vulnerability and the possibility of danger that Kino and his family face ahead. The pearl may also symbolize evil, and how it brought the radical change in Kino and his wife.
The pearl was thought to be the stability and prosperity that Kino hoped for his family. However, there were... [continues]
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