Greed in The Pearl

Topics: John Steinbeck, Pearl, Novella Pages: 4 (1451 words) Published: November 24, 2013
A sudden influx of wealth can, for some, bring joy and prosperity. However, it can also bring out the worst in one's character. People can quickly go from being content with their lives to being overcome with greed and always wanting more. The Pearl by John Steinbeck is a perfect example of how greed can negatively affect people. It is the story of a poor pearl diver, Kino, and his family, living in La Paz in the 1940's. They live in poverty and long for a better life for their son, but they have learned to make the best of their situation. One day, Kino is diving for pearls just as he does every other day, and he finds "the Pearl of the World", a pearl as big as a seagull's egg. At first, the finding of this magnificent pearl is a beacon of hope for Kino, who believes that it will drastically improve his life. However, he soon finds that the pearl brings only unhappiness and misery. Greed for money brings out the worst in Kino, as it does with most of the other characters that encounter the pearl throughout the story. Through the actions of the different characters, Steinbeck comments on the dehumanizing effect that greed can have on people, regardless of their status in society. The people who Kino comes in contact with as he sets out to sell the pearl are the first examples of people brought to do immoral things out of greed and jealousy. One of these people destroys Kino's canoe, his most prized possession. The destruction of it is devastating to him; he calls it "an evil beyond thinking," commenting that "the killing of a man is not so evil as the killing of a boat" (62). It is his family's only means of survival, giving Kino and his family access to fish, for food, and pearls, his only source of income. Whoever destroyed the canoe must have known how vital it was to Kino and his family, but they did it regardless. Another example of immoral actions brought on by greed is the reaction of the pearl buyers in the nearby town upon learning that...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Greed in the Pearl Essay
  • Greed in "The Pearl" by John Steinbeck Essay
  • The Pearl
  • Greed: Suicide and Pearl Story Essay
  • The Pearl Essay
  • The Pearl Essay
  • Essay on The Pearl
  • Essay on The Pearl

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free