Many of the world’s issues revolve around wealth and greed. In The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, he tells the tragic story of a poverty stricken young couple and their baby who suffer from the consequences of wanting. After finding “the pearl of the world,” Kino and Juana are plagued with violence and misfortune that surround the pearl and its value, ultimately leading to the baby’s death. John Steinbeck’s intended theme of The Pearl is that greed for materialistic possessions can cloud judgment and emotions.
During the story, Kino makes unwise decisions based on chances the pearl could bring. For example, after horrible events have happened, Kino still chooses to keep the pearl when he says, “I have it… and I will keep it. I might have given it as a gift, but now it is my misfortune and my life and I will keep it.” (Steinbeck 617) Even though his family has suffered, Kino still refuses to let go of what could be. He is intent on selling the pearl so that his wishes will become reality. In addition, Kino acts wildly and kills a man trying to steal the pearl, “He heard the rush, got his knife out and lunged at one dark figure and felt his knife go home…” (Steinbeck 613) In order to keep the pearl, Kino feels he must take drastic measures, like murdering a man. His choice of action might solve complications at the moment, but it will come back to haunt him. Holding on to the type of life the pearl presents leads Kino to turn down wrong paths.
Kino and Juana’s tale shows that greed makes people blind with strong emotions. For example, when Juana tries to rid of the pearl, Kino acts violently towards her, “And rage surged in Kino… he struck her in the face with his clenched fist and she fell among the boulders and he kicked her in the side.” (Steinbeck 613) Kino’s possessiveness for the pearl causes him to turn against his family that he loves. His family is left in ruins because of it. In addition, after their hut is set on fire, Juana tells Kino...
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