The Pearl

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Assignment 1

" Money is the root of all evil". To what extend is this one of the themes of the novel you studied.

The Pearl by John Steinbeck - The theme of Greed

Nurain Ariff

This theme emerges the moment the people of La Paz get to know about Kino's pearl and we begin to see changes in the characters.

All of them have their own selfish schemes when they learn about Kino's pearl. When they know that Kino has the pearl the village of La Paz is alive with avarice. Everyone wants something from Kino. Everyone was affected and wanted something from the pearl. Kino was the only one in the way. The doctor wanted money for "curing" the child. The priest wanted money to fix the church. The shopkeepers, the pearl buyers, and the rest of the town wanted money for their own purposes. The pearl was a poison that ruined many good people and made the evil people worst. The doctor is pure evil. He would not treat Kino's baby because Kino had nothing to pay him with. When the doctor heard of Kino's sudden wealth, he said Kino was his client. As he visualized life back in Paris all he could think of was getting enough money to be able to go back again. When he went to see Kino, he even made up a fake symptom of death to scare Kino into letting him "treat" the baby. Instead, he poisoned the baby and cured him of the poison he had given the baby himself. This horrible doctor is filled with avarice. He did not care who he had to harm to get more money. All he cares about is money.

The priest wanted money to fix the church. Even the priest, a person who is highly regarded in the community, has some plans on how to use the money from the sale of the pearl. It is only after this that he thinks how the pearl will affect Kino's personal life. The priest is nearly as bad as the doctor. He also wanted money from Kino. He thinks of certain repairs necessary for the church. He wondered what the pearl would be worth. And he wondered if he had baptized Kino’s baby, or married him for that matter. He thought if he did these things he was more likely to get money to fix the church. The priest calls on Kino and his family. He reminds them that they should show their gratitude to God for this unexpected gain and to pray for guidance in the future. Juana agrees and says that they will be married in the church. The priest is also a horrid person; he is supposed to be a holy figure, but he was poisoned by the thought of riches. These hopes caused him to lie.

The new riches also affected the townspeople. The shop keepers hear about Kino's wealth and hope to sell their clothes. They knew that an indigent man that becomes rich by luck knows how it feels to be poor. Therefore, they would get money too. The pearl buyers were also full of avarice for the pearl. They wanted to buy the pearl for a very low price so they were cheating Kino. They hoped that if they bought the pearl, the boss would promote them and they would make more money. Everyone wanted something from the pearl. Kino became the whole town's enemy because of that.

The effects of greed after Kino finds the pearl are he learns how far others will go, including committing murder to gain wealth and the power that it brings. All those who hear about the pearl, even his neighbours "suddenly became related to pearl, and pearl went into the dreams, the speculations, the schemes, the plans, the futures, the wishes, the needs, the lusts, the hungers, of everyone." And since Kino stood in their way, "he became curiously every man's enemy." Kino recognizes this desire in himself, not for wealth, but for the power the pearl can grant him. He says the pearl is his soul.


Good elaboration of points. However, do you actually know the meaning of the word ‘avarice’ you use in the essay? Why don’t you just stick to the common word ‘greed’? Just in case you use it in the wrong context? Overall, good attempt ;)


In the novel The Pearl written by John Steinback, one of...
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