In John Steinbeck’s The Pearl,” a poor yet humble pearl diver by the name of Kino finds a giant pearl with which he hopes to buy peace and happiness for his family and an education for his son, Coyotito. Instead, he learns that the valuable Pearl of the World cannot buy happiness but only destroy his simple yet content life. As soon as Kino’s son, Coyotito, is bitten by a deadly scorpion, Juana, the mother of Coyotito, naturally turns towards the spiritual aspects of life by praying for her son’s endangered life. Knowing that the bite is extremely deadly, they take Coyotito to the doctor, but he refuses to assist the child because of the family’s financial status. So, the family now turns to the sea to seek their fortune.
When Juana set her sight on the Pearl of the World,” she felt as though all her prayers had been answered. News spread quickly that Kino had found the immense pearl, and as soon as the doctor heard of the newfound wealth, he rushed to aid Coyotito. However, the pearl brought nothing but trouble once the pearl buyers tried to cheat Kino. He was also attacked for the pearl, and in one of the fights, he killed a man. Kino then fled with his family to the city, where three men hunted them down. In an effort to escape, Kino attacked the men, but not before they fired a shot into the mountains and mortally wounded Coyotito.
After the sudden death, Kino and Juana head back to the village where they heave the evil pearl into the ocean, hoping that its burdens are never bestowed on any person again. Throughout The Pearl, Kino’s character is indirectly revealed by his actions and thoughts. In the beginning of the story, he appears to be a very hardworking man and a man of good morals. He shows these qualities by simply supporting his family and working hard every day diving for pearls. However, after finding the Pearl of the World, Kino slowly begins to change. Without knowing it, Kino begins to consider the pearl more important than his family.
He did anything to keep it, even endangering his family. When he was being tracked down, he could have handed over the pearl to the trackers and saved his family, but instead he just continued running. All he has to show for it is Coyotito’s death. Because of this, Kino would also be considered greedy by the end of the story. The theme of The Pearl teaches us not to let wealth or fame change who we are or the way we act. No matter what, we are always the same people on the inside, and not even a million dollars should make a difference. In the story, Kino was not this strong, and he just didn’t know when to stop running.
If he had taken the first offer for the pearl, he would have been much happier and still had his entire family.