In most of John Steinbeck's novels, there is an abundance of alcoholism. Most of the characters are drunk or desperate like Pilon in Tortilla Flat. He is desperate for alcohol and even uses it to pay for the rent. Other characters such as Peter Randall of The Harness and the main character of Johnny Bear. Many of the events that lead to stress or breakdown of the characters in the stories is alcohol related. Every one of the main characters is drunk at some point in the story. Weather it be Danny, Pilon, Jesus Maria or Fat Joe Portagee.
In Tortilla Flat, The Main character Danny inherits two houses from his recently deceased grandfather. The houses are eventually are burnt down by Danny's buddies. There's even on point in the story where Pilon "Deftly removed the trousers, rolled them up, and sauntered away into the sand dunes." And in the end Pilon sells the pants to Mrs.
Morales for some wine. After he felt Mrs. Morales cheated him, Pilon stole the pants back and a blanket, and took them back to Joe. On top of that, when Pilon came back to Fat Joe, he lied and said some one else stole them and said he got them back. The greed for some wine in this novel is almost pathetic. Stealing a man's pants while he's passed out drunk and selling them for a gallon of wine is one thing, but to steal them back and a blanket is crafty and pathetic. The lengths that Pilon and his Pizanos went just to get some alcohol shows they have some serious problems. Pilon even tried to use alcohol as a way to pay rent before he burnt the house down. On his way back from getting his money, Pilon bought two gallons of wine, and he thought to himself " It is better so. If I give him hard money, it doesn't express how warmly I feel towards him. Now, a present" Pilon would trick Danny so he could practically rent his house out for free.
It's funny how you think someone's your best friend in the world ,and they turn out to be your worst enemy. Pilon was a drunk who always wanted wine and did anything and everything to get a gallon or two. His true colors were apparent to the reader, but since everyone was an alcoholic, they never noticed. Johnny Bear was a freak of nature who spat out people's voices so he could get free whiskey. Pilon was no diffirent, just better at hiding it.