What price would one be willing to pay to achieve all of their wildest dreams? 1,000 pesos? 50,000 pesos? What about the respect of their community? Even worse, the life of their child. While Kino did not intend to lose any of these attributes in his quest for a better life, his stubbornness guided him to murder and ultimate heartbreak. It leaves the reader questioning, what price should be paid to attain the luxuries one wants from life? John Steinbeck’s novella, The Pearl, follows a poor Indian/Mexican pearl diver as the best find of his life slowly morphs into the greatest misfortune he had ever known. Blinded by opportunity, Kino discovers too late that his treasure is a magnet for destruction. Through Kino’s adversity, the reader understands what Chaucer once conveyed, greed is the root of all evil. Moreover, it is made apparent that family is the greatest pearl of all .
Set in La Paz, Mexico, Kino is content with his small family and house made of brush. However, when his only son Coyotito is stung by a scorpion, Kino sets out to find a pearl grand enough to pay the doctor who has refused to help. In an ancient clam, Kino stumbles upon the largest pearl anyone in La Paz had ever seen. Dubbed “the Pearl of the World” everyone suddenly became interested in Kino and his family. When his brother, Juan Tomas, asks what the future holds, Kino sees images of Coyotito in school and a real marriage for Juana and himself reflected in the pearl’s surface. Even Coyotito’s wound seemed to be healing. However, joy and opportunity dragged paranoia and thievery along for the journey. Kino began to distrust everyone and everything. His new personality resembled an impenetrable shell through which no one could break, not even Juana. At the pearl market, Kino was told that his prize was a monstrosity only worth 1,000 pesos. Knowing that he could get much more, Kino decided to make the trek to the capital for a fair bid to be made. Throughout the story, at least three...
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