Likewise, the characters in The Pearl are also based on first-hand, authentic experience.
The following interpretation is only one of many which the novel can support, and it need not be seen as the only definitive approach. Basically, there are two forces working through the novel — primitive man alone with his labors, toiling close to nature and possessing an innate dignity; and opposing him, man as a predator, as a parasite or a vampire, sucking at the vein of life and bringing about death and destruction to the more primitive unit.
The first group is, of course, represented by Kino, his family and his friends who make up the primitive community of fishermen and divers. Kino and Juana speak very little to each other — it is as though there is no need for words — their communication is innocent and innately understood.
In contrast, there is the world of the pearl buyers and the world of the doctor and the priest, representatives of the world with whom Kino and Juana cannot communicate. These two groups are brought together by the use of animal imagery, which Steinbeck uses constantly throughout the novel to comment upon the predatory nature of so-called civilized society.
They believe that because of the doctor, there appears to be a world of possibilities, but in trying to move from one world to another represented by the long processional, in which the entire village follows Kino and JuanaKino encounters obstacles which he cannot overcome.
Steinbeck has clearly shown us prior to the discovery of the pearl how the dogs of La Paz feed upon the fish, the larger fish feed upon smaller fish, and every organism depends upon preying upon some other animal.
When Kino acquires the pearl, it is indeed the most beautiful pearl in the world. But Steinbeck is careful to let us know that this pearl was created through the irritation and the suffering of another organism — the oyster.
The beauty of the pearl is not necessarily either evil or good. It only becomes either good or evil when Kino and the pearl buyers begin to project their individual desires on it.
When Kino dives for the pearl, his heart is filled with anger and frustration; he is fierce and animal-like in this predatory mood. On a surface level, it seems that the things which Kino wants are good things: The ultimate achievement to be wrought by the pearl is an education for Coyotito and a rifle for Kino.
On a surface level, it appears that Kino wants the right things. But the irony is that Kino and Juana are a truly married couple — they are one as man and wife — they are body and soul. Yet, Kino wants the social recognition of a "foreign marriage" performed by a circumspect priest in a "foreign" religion, and he wants the elegant religious sanction of this foreign religion.
We should remember that earlier, when the scorpion bit Coyotito, Juana first uttered charms in her native religion, and it was only as an afterthought that she added a couple of Hail Marys.
And while it is noble that he wants Coyotito to have an education, the advantages that Kino wants for him lie in the new, foreign world. Kino, still suffering from his recent encounter with the foreign doctor, still wants his son to become a part of the world which has just rejected him.
The ugliness of the new world which Kino so desperately desires to become a part of begins to express itself immediately, but in the same way that Steinbeck shows that the real community is hidden behind paved streets and in gardens that are protected by stone walls, so also the people who attack him are never seen; they remain simply evil forces in the dark.
Openly, the doctor comes first with the poisonous white powder which has the power to kill Coyotito; then the priest comes, blessing a marriage that he never performed. Even though Kino instinctly knows that he is being cheated by the pearl buyers, he clings to the pearl because his very manhood has been challenged by the "dark ones," the unknown ones who attacked him during the night.
In short, Kino is without a society. As Kino becomes aware of the evil forces trying to rob him of his treasure, he realizes that the pearl has now taken on a different meaning. Earlier, it meant an education for Coyotito and a marriage in the church: We heard of the attacks from her point of view, and we followed her as she joined Kino in his fight with the "dark ones.
However, after Coyotito has been killed and after Kino has killed the three trackers, there is nothing left for Kino and Juana to do but to return to town.
Yet they do not return in defeat.Likewise, the characters in The Pearl are also based on first-hand, authentic experience. This is not to say that Steinbeck lived with the Indians in and around La Paz, but the entire story is based on Steinbeck's actual observations.
Jackson Benson writes that The Pearl was heavily influenced by Steinbeck's interest in the philosophy of Carl Jung. Steinbeck wrote that he created the story of The Pearl to address the themes of "human greed, materialism, and the inherent worth of a thing." The Fleming & .
In these lines, Steinbeck sets up no antitheses such as good versus evil, or black versus white. Steinbeck even inverts the major symbol of the pearl. A pearl usually signifies purity and innocence, qualities which a man loses and tries to find.
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novella. parable. southwest mexico, la paz. the author of the pearl. An Analysis of the Parable The Pearl by John Steinbeck on the Subject of Morality PAGES 2.
WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: john steinbeck, the pearl, subject of morality. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.
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