Symbolization Found in the Pearl

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Symbolization Found in The Pearl

“This pearl has become my soul... If I give it up, I shall lose my soul” (Steinbeck chapter 5). The book The Pearl was written by John Steinbeck in 1947. The setting of the book takes place in a small town in Mexico somewhere during the late 1800’s. The main characters are Kino, a lowly pearl hunter, Juana his faithful, thoughtful wife and Coyotito, the family’s infant child. Both the pearl and the canoe symbolize the corrupting power of something seemingly so innocent; and having the ability to tear apart everything important in one man’s life.

The pearl that Kino finds appears beautiful on the outside, but it is really a thing of pure evil despite the deception of beauty. Kino stumbles across the large, beautiful egg-shaped pearl, clueless to how it will end up destroying everything he loves. This shows that when Kino finding the pearl could represent someone accepting a temptation. Each decision he makes brings on either a positive or a negative reward of some sort. Kino stumbling across the pearl is not a bad event; it is what he chooses to do after he finds the beautiful pearl that brings upon the negative outcomes. This is all because of Kino’s negative decisions that he chooses to make. The roots of all his issues begin at the pearl. After Kino finds the pearl, everyone he knows becomes overly interested in the valuable object. The pearl causes not only Kino to make bad decisions, but it also causes the people around him to begin to make these choices as well. “All manner of people grew interested in Kino – people with things to sell and people with favors to ask. Kino had found the Pearl of the World” (Steinbeck 36). Kino doesn’t know about the pearl’s ability to tear his life apart when he finds it, let alone all of the ways the pearl manipulates others in negative ways towards him. This is important because this pearl will begin to take over some of the characters’ lives in a very negative way. The pearl creates...
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