The Pearl

Essay by lollycaitJunior High, 9th gradeA, January 2008

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In the story, The Pearl, Kino finds the pearl of the world; a pearl that had a veneer of good but inwardly possessed the horrible wrath of greed. When Kino finds the pearl, he realizes it was his family's path out of poverty. With the money, he wants to send his child, Coyotito, to school and he wants his wife and him to have a formal wedding. But as the story progresses, the pearl begins to arouse greed throughout the town. The local doctor tries to swindle Kino, pearl buyers conspire to deceive Kino when shows up to sell the pearl, and Kino is violently attacked outside his home in an attempt to steal the pearl. Kino, determined to get a good price for the pearl because of his dreams for his family, even commits murder to protect the pearl. The pearl became a part of Kino which is shown when he claims, "If I give it up I shall lose my soul."

His wife, in a desperate endeavor to rid of the evil, tries to discard the pearl, but Kino catches her and hits her. The pearl eventually leads to downfall of almost everything in his life. He ends up losing his home, canoe, and his treasure, his son. Although the pearl could have been very beneficial, it ended up fostering greed and destruction.

John Steinbeck uses animal imagery as a way to foreshadow and explain the hunt for Kino at the end of the story. Several images of predator and prey are mentioned in the book, like the little night hawks silently stalking the mice, hint at the subsequent pursuit of Kino. With "an animal light" in his eyes, Kino's actions and movements began to resemble that of a trapped animal running to survive. Kino runs...