The Pearl Essay

Submitted By JustCisco
Words: 909
Pages: 4

Cisco Martinez Martinez 1 10/1/12
CP English 3-4
Per 5 The Pearl As it is true where you don’t know how great something is until it is gone, or until you’ve experienced it, materialistic objects have great potential to do help or harm other people. Yet, it isn’t the actual object that carries this potential; it is the value that people give it that makes it so great. The pearl in John Steinbeck’s The Pearl was a life changing object to Kino and Juana, as it both brought obsession and great hope. The pearl mesmerized Kino and made him do harmful things to others that he would have never been able to do without the pearl’s instigation. The Pearl had a great effect on Kino, Juana, and the Doctor, and it conveyed Steinbeck’s message that greed is a force that causes great destruction. In the beginning of the novel, Kino was kind and caring, and belonged to a family of a wife and son for whom he would do anything for to keep them happy. However, as the story progresses, Kino gradually begins turning to be mesmerized by the pearl and protective as to who has the pearl. As Kino says,” This pearl has become my soul…If I give it up I shall lose my soul.”, he believes (not literally, of course) the pearl is now a part of him. At this point in the novella, Kino would not give up the pearl even if it meant great wealth and financial security for his family. This shows a drastic change in character from the beginning of the book, as at first, his family’s well-being was his main concern. When Juana snuck out in the middle of the night to throw away the pearl, the author wrote,” Her arm was up to throw[the pearl]… he[Kino] struck her in the face with his clenched fist and she fell amongst the boulders, and he kicked her in the side.” He exemplifies how the pearl has drastically changed Kino to turn into a figurative “monster”. This moment was also a great turning point in the story, as Kino then realizes what the pearl has done to him. As you can see, Kino gradually changed throughout the novel as Steinbeck makes the personified pearl toy with Kino’s feelings and character. In Martinez 2 the end, Kino turned out to mature from this experience, and he learned to never let a materialistic item get in between him and his family again. Juana prayed for the pearl, as she thought it would bring her family great hope and fortune. She was mesmerized by the pearl more than Kino was, But Juana was quicker to recover from the pearl’s hypnotic ways, and she then foresaw the imminent danger that the pearl had brought with it. When Juana says,” It[the Pearl] will destroy us all… even our son.” She foreshadows the outcome of what may happen to young Cyotito. Although Juana’s character matured in this novella, Steinbeck mainly emphasized the strong character that Juana already had within her. During the turning point in this novella, where Kino beats Juana for trying to throw away the pearl, as Juana is on the ground, beaten, she doesn’t cry or scream, or get angry. She simply stares at Kino with a blank, but expressing face showing her feelings towards Kino’s actions. She insists guilt on Kino, making him realize what he has done. With this, Kino fills with disgust, embarrassment, and