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Money in The Pearl Essay


Money is said to bring happiness yet a passionate desire for money brings turmoil into society. In the novella, The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, the author exemplifies the controversial effects of moneys power in society. After Kino, the protagonist, finds the Pearl of the World, his eyes open to a larger world of hope and opportunity. He begins to think of the prosperity that the pearl can bring him and his family; unfortunately, it arouses greed and jealousy in his town. Throughout this novella, Steinbeck tries to show the greedy effects of money on people, and the integrity and importance of family.

Money can change peoples perspective on life. In The Pearl, money acts as a parameter that determines the social class and labels people as individuals of wealth in Kinos town. When the doctor is at Kinos house, he tells them, Sometimesthe scorpion sting has a curious effect. There will be apparent improvement, and then without warning-pouf (35)! The doctor is very greedy and does not stop even when Kino and Juana tell him that the baby is getting better. Only after hearing about Kinos pearl does the doctor come to check up on Coyotito, Kinos baby. The moneys power awakens in the doctor a fake compassion. When money comes into play the doctors attitude toward Kino and his family changes. One would think that the only person that would not be all over Kinos pearl would be the priest, but the priest in this story tells them, I hope thou wilt remember to give thanks, my son, to Him who [gave] thee thy treasure (33). The priest is just like everybody else. He wants to profit from the pearl. The doctor and the priest represent societys individuals that help the people in need, but money awakens the evil part of their human nature. Moreover, their neighbors, the ones that share and view Kino as a humble person, are touched by the moneys power that the pearl can bring. After Kino finds the pearl, the first people to find out other than his family are the villagers. At first they are happy for Kino but then, the poison sacs of the town [begin] to manufacture venom, and the town [swells] and [puffs] with the pressure of [the pearl] (29). His neighbors want the pearl for themselves and envy Kino for having it. To Kino and his family the pearl gives them the opportunity and hope that they have been searching for but also brings avarice and possessiveness to his town as well.

Family is very important to Kino and Juana. Steinbeck illustrates Kino at the beginning of the book as a happy person in harmony with his family. Kinos world is his wife, Juana, and his son, Coyotito. In fact, when the neighbors all gathered at Kinos house to see the pearl, Kino thought, This is our chanceOur son must go to school. He must break out of the pot that holds us in (44). Kino wants what is best for his family and he thinks that the pearl can bring this for him. Kino does not want Coyotito to have to live in the same conditions as they are living in now. When the priest comes to visit Kino, Kino tells him, We will Father. And we will [marry in the church] (33). Kino loves his family and marrying by the church will give his family and himself a social status in the town. This marriage will also keep their family in unity and make it official. Clearly, family is very important not only to Kino but also his town.

In The Pearl, the author proves that money reveals the ugly side of human nature, and the only way to overpower this corruption is to be aware of the importance of family. Due to Kinos discovery of the Pearl of the World greed is brought to his town, and the savage actions of society exemplify the voracity in human nature. One thing that one can learn from The Pearl is that money is the root of greediness and chaos in society.

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