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Humanity's Struggle With Greed Depicted In John Steinbeck's The Pearl

1017 words - 4 pages

The Pearl is a parable, a story that has a moral, written by John Steinbeck. The novel is based on a poor Indian family who live in a small village outside of La Paz, Mexico along the Gulf of Mexico. The family consists of: Kino, a fisherman and pearl diver; Juana and their infant son Coyotito. Kino’s people live a life of poverty so when Kino finds “The Pearl of The World” the villagers and town’s people all want to get their hands on the pearl for themselves; Lap Paz became filled with greed. This novel like all others is focused on a major theme; the theme of a literary work is defined as a central idea, concern or purpose about life that a writer wishes to convey. There may be several themes identified in a literary work; however, in John Steinbeck’s novel The Pearl the author uses an occurrence in nature–the pearl to develop one of the most essential universal themes in literature, which is humanity’s struggle with greed.
One example of this universal theme of humanity’s struggle with greed occurred in this novel when the doctor pretended to treat Coyotito for something that he did not have. It all started when a scorpion stung Coyotito. Kino and Juana’s only hope was the doctor, however, he refused to treat Coyotito because they were poor and they had nothing of value to pay for his services. Not long after this, Kino went to search for a good pearl in order to pay the doctor to treat his son. Kino found “the pearl of the world;” Juana and Kino were overjoyed. Once the doctor heard of this fine pearl, he rushed over to Kino’s hut to treat the sick baby by telling Kino a lie. The doctor’s excuse for not treating Coyotito sooner was, “ I was not in when you came this morning. But now at first chance, I have come to see the baby” (29-30). The doctor was being very greedy because he was not there to help the baby, he was just trying to make sure he got part of what the pearl was worth by appearing to treat Coyotito. The doctor was only interested in helping himself, because this statement that he made to Kino was untruthful for he had been home when Kino asked for help but he did not want to treat poor people.
Upon hearing the news that Kino had found a valuable pearl, the doctor went to Kino’s brush hut. The doctor went to Kino’s hut because he was greedy and wanted to treat Coyotito so Kino would be indebted to him.
The doctor told Kino that the poison might strike again soon. So he gave the baby some white powder and told them that he would be back in one hour. The poison has gone inward and it will strike again soon… I will give him ...

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