John Steinbeck's "The Pearl". Material society, material thoughts.

Essay by Tom KanderHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 1996

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Ever since Midas' lust for gold, it appears to be that man has

acquired a greed and appetite for wealth. Juana, the Priest, and

the doctor have all undergone a change due to money. They are

all affected by their hunger for wealth and inturn are the base for

their own destruction, and the destruction of society. Steinbeck's

'The Pearl' is a study of man's self destruction through greed.

Juana, the faithful wife of Kino, a paltry peasant man, had

lived a spiritual life for what had seemed like as long as she

could remember. When her son Coyito fell ill from the bite of a

scorpion, she eagerly turned towards the spiritual aspects of life.

Beginning to pray for her son's endangered life. The doctor who

had resided in the upper-class section of the town, refused to

assistant the child, turning them away when they arrived at the

door. Lastly they turned to the sea to seek their fortune. When

Juana set sight on the 'Pearl of The World.' she felt as though

all her prayers had been answered, if she could have foreseen the

future what she would have seen would have been a mirror image of

her reality. Juana's husband was caught in a twisted realm of

mirrors, and they were all shattering one by one. In the night he

heard a 'sound so soft that it might have been simply a

thought...' and quickly attacked the trespasser. This is where

the problems for Juana and her family began. The fear that had

mounted in Kino's body had taken control over his actions. Soon

even Juana who had always had faith in her husband, had doubted him

greatly. 'It will destroy us all' she yelled as her attempt to

rid the family of the pearl had failed.