PearlIn John Steinbeck’s The Pearl, a poor yet humble pearl diver by the name of Kinofinds a giant pearl with which he hopes to buy peace and happiness for hisfamily and an education for his son, Coyotito. Instead, he learns that thevaluable Pearl of the World can not buy happiness but only destroy his simple,yet content, life. As soon as Kino’s son, Coyotito, is bitten by a deadlyscorpion, Juana, the mother of Coyotito, naturally turns towards the spiritualaspects of life by praying for her son’s endangered life. Knowing that the biteis extremely deadly, they take Coyotito to the doctor, be he refuses to assistthe child because of the family’s financial status so the family now turns tothe sea to seek their fortune.
When Juana set sight on the “Pearl of theWorld,” she felt as though all her prayers had been answered. News spreadsquickly that Kino has found the immense pearl and as soon as the doctor hears ofthe newfound wealth, he rushes to the aid of Coyotito. After this, the pearlbrings nothing but trouble once the pearl buyers try to cheat him for the pearl. Kino is also attacked for the pearl and in one of the fights, he kills a man. Hethen flees with his family to the city where three men hunt them down. In aneffort to escape, Kino attacks the men but not before they fire a shot into themountains and mortally wound Coyotito.
After the sudden death, Kino and Juanahead back to the village where they heave the evil pearl into the ocean and hopethat it’s burdens are never bestowed on any person again. Throughout ThePearl, Kino’s character is indirectly revealed by his actions and thoughts. Inthe beginning of the story, he appears to be a very hardworking man and also aman of good morals. He showed these qualities by simply supporting his familyand working hard everyday diving for pearls. But after finding the Pearl of theWorld, Kino slowly began to change. Without knowing it, Kino was beginning toconsider 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 havehanded over the pearl to the trackers and saved his family, but instead he justcontinued running and all he has to show for it is Coyotito’s death. Becauseof this, Kino would also be considered greedy by the end of the story. The themeof The Pearl teaches us not to let wealth or even fame change who we are or theway we act. No matter what, we are always the same people on the inside and noteven a million dollars should make a difference. In the story, Kino was not thisstrong and he just didn’t know when to stop running.
If he would have justtaken the first offer he got for the pearl, he would have been a much happierman and he would still have his entire family.