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On The Pearl by John Steinbeck - Research Paper Example

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‘The Pearl’ by John Steinbeck is one of the most powerful books that sensitively portray the fickle nature of human relationship which thrives on greed and ambition. The story is set against the background of abject poverty where dreams are luxuries that are lost in the struggle for daily survival…
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Research Paper On The Pearl by John Steinbeck
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"On The Pearl by John Steinbeck"

Download file to see previous pages They even try to subdue and tread over the dreams of the poor so that the rich can become richer. Steinbeck has used greed and ambition as main themes of the book. The protagonist ‘Kino’ dreams of a bright future for his only son. He wants to educate him so that his son can have a better life. The author has profusely used the surreal elements to weave the magic in the ordinary life of the hero. The story revolves around the protagonist who goes in search of ‘the pearl’ because the village doctor refuses to treat his son who was bitten by a poisonous scorpion. The author dexterously maneuvers the plot and shows how the greed of man and unrealistic dreams ultimately deprive him of happiness and a peaceful life. Kino develops the illusionary desires and ambitions to overcome his poverty because he wants a more comfortable life for his son and family. Hence, when he finds the pearl, it becomes the most powerful symbol of riches through which he can make his dreams come true. ‘The pearls were accidents, and the finding of one was luck’ becomes the powerful motive of the protagonist to dream (1:9). When Kino and his wife find the pearl, their life takes a dramatic turn because everyone is attracted to the pearl and want a share of the riches that it represents. The greed of people comes to fore and all the people who had earlier refused to help the couple, now try to impress them. The doctor, who had refused to treat Coyotito, Kino’s son, is now eager to treat the poisonous bite as he can now get a share of the pearl. The priest, who had earlier refused to marry Kino and Juana in the church because they were poor, is now ready to wed them in the hope of gaining some part of the fortune that the pearl represents. Steinbeck gradually unfolds the events to convey the changing attitude of the people. The evil nature of man is exposed as the greed for the acquiring the pearl gains momentum. The simple and uncomplicated life of Kino is suddenly fraught with the treacherous consequences of extreme wantonness of the man’s greed for money. Indeed, while the protagonist just wants the pearl to provide a better life for his family, the world around him sees it as their first step to great wealth and prosperity. The story culminates in the death of the son. The protagonist realizes that not all the riches of the world can replace his son or can be greater than the love of the family. Kino and his wife throw the pearl back into the sea because it deprives them of only happiness that their son represented and nothing can bring him back. The theme of the book broadly focuses on what the pearl represents in the wider context of life. How the pearl is perceived by the people and consequently its role in the life of Kino becomes the highlight of the book. The author has used symbols, metaphors and imagery to stress the emotional needs that must be satisfied. The songs for different occasions are important elements that reflect the changing moods of the protagonists. ‘Song of the family’ signifies the contented life of Kino and Juana but ‘song of the evil’ comes in the mind of Kino, when his son is stung by the scorpion. ‘Music of the enemy’ forewarns Kino that the doctor would not be treating his son! Once the pearl is found and appears in the lives of the people, the vagaries of human nature also come to the fore. The greed, desires, jealousy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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