Greed in the Pearl

Topics: John Steinbeck, Narcissism, Thought Pages: 2 (859 words) Published: September 8, 2013
Greed is a strong sensation which can distort a person's personality, or reveal the truth about who they really are. This is portrayed in John Steinbeck's The Pearl, through the acts of Kino and the doctor. In the novel, simple townspeople, Kino and Juana, come across a large pearl. What started off as a way to pay for their child, Coyotito's, scorpion medication, ended up turning them into greedy, money hungry people. The Pearl shows us that even a poor man can become greedy when coming across a large amount of money; and drive someone as wealthy as a doctor to commit such an inhumane act, such as stealing from a less fortunate family. It is a characteristic that can change a man completely.

Greed morphs Kino into a man capable of committing actions he would have never thought of if it wasn't for his coming across the pearl. Kino was once a simple living man who wanted whatever amount of money he could get in exchange for his extravagant pearl. After being offered up to fifteen hundred dollars kino states, "My pearl is not for sale here. I will go, perhaps even to the capitol" (52). His mind has been so corrupted with the idea of wealth and the "finer things" that he gave up one thousand five hundred dollars because he felt he needed more. In Kino's world, going to the capitol to sell items was unethical and against religion. For a man so religious and honorable, it is quite a contradictory action to defy the church. Kino lived in a poor town with people who very well knew the value of their own items, and suddenly Kino felt he deserves more money, especially with the fact that he himself has never owned something so worthy. For any other poor man, fifteen hundred dollars would have been considered a gift from God. Th idea of living as a rich man does had attracted Kino so much that he forgot why he wanted the money in the first place, to save his baby; which is ironic because his greed brought death upon Coyotito rather than to continue living healthily....
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