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Characters And Themes In The Pearl

1576 words - 6 pages

Many books are written in order to tell a story. However, few books are written which cause the reader to look at issues that are deeper than the plot.An author's ability to engage the reader in a novel is usually what creates classic literature. John Steinbeck is known as one of those authors and his novel, The Pearl, is noted as a classic. The Pearl is a novel in which a poor pearl diver named Kino finds a pearl the size of one that has never been imagined. His experiences with his riches are the main scheme. Characters and themes are plentiful in The Pearl and are widely discussed among critics. For that reason, this paper will compare, contrast, and assess the criticisms on the characters and themes in The Pearl.In The Pearl, the characters are discussed among critics in a similar opinion. The characters in The Pearl are produced to portray "universal types" of people (Shuman 1896). This means that Steinbeck made the characters to have characteristics of people in reality. Millichap states "Steinbeck's characters in The Pearl are real people in a real world"¦" Also, Millichap describes them as an representative family, with the same aspirations as an ordinary family (2527). Furthermore, Riley sees Kino as having a "talismanic relationship," created to be an average man, against evil. Kino goes through the stages as many people do in real life, "man attaching" himself to an object to satisfy a need, "man infusing his spirit into his possession, and man as the talisman" for seeing his own relationship as a whole (407). Thus, these critics have similar opinions about the characters in The Pearl in that they are made to represent real people.The Pearl contains evidence that best supports Shuman and Millichap's criticisms on the characters in the novel. More specifically, their observations on the fact that Steinbeck created the characters to represent people of the real world. Characters in the novel have the same wants, needs, and downfalls as people in reality. For example, Kino, a poor pearl diver, wants nothing more than to send his son Coyotito to school. One of his first reactions after finding the pearl that would make him a rich man is imagining his son at school. ""¦he saw Coyotito sitting at a little desk in a school"¦Coyotito was writing on a big piece of paper" (25). Like many people today, one of the most important things to Kino is giving his child an education. Often times one hears of a story where a family from the ghetto becomes rich. Then with their newfound wealth give their children the education that they once could not afford. That is one way Steinbeck allowed his characters to represent universal types. Another example of the characters representation of real people can be seen through Kino's experience with newfound wealth. Kino and his family live a simple life until one day Kino finds a pearl that is priceless. Instead of happiness, Kino is surrounded by corruptness. Everywhere Kino turns someone is...

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