Essay on Destroyed by Greed

Submitted By annanap
Words: 487
Pages: 2

Destroyed by Greed: Wang Lung and Kino
The Bible says it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Literature often reflects this theme by showing how wealth can destroy an otherwise good soul. In the novels The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, and The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, the main characters are both decent men who are changed by their pursuit of money. First, Kino and Wang Lung cherish their families, then money begins to change their priorities, and finally, both men lose what they love most because of their greed. In the beginning of the novels, both Wang Lung and Kino value their families above everything else. We see Wang Lung caring for his elderly father as he prepares to go meet his bride. His new bride preoccupies him so that he can’t think about his land, and when he finds out she is pregnant, he forgets to eat. Caring for his family comes before anything else. In The Pearl, Kino hears the song of family in each routine of his life. Although his life is simple, the rhythm of his family’s habits and the sounds of their lives make up a song that is important to him; in fact, his search for the pearl begins as a desperate attempt to help his son, Coyotito, who has been stung by a scorpion. Both characters drastically change when they come in contact with wealth. In The Good Earth, Wang Lung, who earlier chose to starve rather than eat food his son had stolen, robs a wealthy man during the rebellion. His sense of right and wrong, which he valued so highly, is set aside, and he begins to ignore his family, especially his loyal wife, Olan. In The Pearl, Kino refuses to accept the 1,500 pesos he is offered although it is far more than he ever hoped to…