The Pearl Analysis Essay
In The Pearl, author John Steinbeck uses the pearl to express the theme of human nature when confronted by wealth. At the beginning of the novella, the protagonist Kink finds a pearl of immense size and beauty, claiming it to be ‘as perfect as the moon’. However, by the final stages of the book it is looked upon with disgust, suggesting that it contains the devil and is ‘grey, like a malignant growth’.
Steinbeck uses the pearl as a symbol for the pinnacle of ones hopes and dreams, which are used to illustrate the destructive force of obtaining wealth. He suggests to me that mankind is greedy. We are fixed with the idea that by acquiring wealth we will achieve happiness. Yet, Steinbeck also explains via the symbolism of the canoe, that by using ambitions to grasp wealth one will loose social and traditional connection. He explains to me that ambitions drive an individual until they stop to realism the destructive trail left behind.
Greed, in a sense, is a natural desire that embodies anyone willing to put themselves before anyone else. Steinbeck uses symbolism to express human greed when confronted by materialistic wealth. This became evident to me after Kink’s discovery of the pearl in the second chapter. At the beginning of the book, Kink goes out in his canoe to fish for oysters in order to obtain a pearl. After fishing for a while he pulls up a catch of a single oyster containing a pearl of spectacular size and beauty, claiming it to be ‘The pearl of the World’.
Kink then reluctantly expresses what the pearl can offer him and his wife, suggesting “We will be married in the Church” and “We will buy new clothes”. With the pearl, Kink can see a new and enhanced life that leads him to think of desires not even possible to dream of. This greed suddenly drives his ambitions to pursue wealth and status, however in doing so he develops, what I believe to be, an obsession. A slight insane paranoia envelops him, leaving him to think that happiness is suddenly dependent on wealth.
This idea is further amplified when the pearl leads him to the destruction of anyone who will take such a future away. This results in the beating of his wife as she attempts to dispose of the pearl. The pearl illustrates to me the way ambition and greed destroy innocence. It presented a possible future to anyone who obtained it; offering riches, therefore ‘happiness’. Yet ironically when Kink discovered the Pearl, his desire for wealth perverted its beauty and good luck, transforming it from a symbol of hope to a symbol of human destruction.
By the end of the book, Kink and his wife have realized the destructive power of the pearl, concluding in them to cast it off into the sea. Despite abandoning the pearl, Kink is suddenly left in a state worse than he found it in, revealing the cruel realism of greed. After reading this book, I realism the importance of maintaining my ambitions. Although most of the time ambitions are beneficial, if I let men loose I wall affect not only myself out toners In ten process as I would more egocentric and would always desire more.
Decode The use of symbolism in The Pearl explains to me that pursuing wealth through ambition will detach tradition and civility from ones life. This became evident to me after Kink’s sudden decision to head to the capital in order to seek a fortune for his beloved pearl. Before departure, Kink starts to prepare his canoe in order to cross the great lake which lay between himself and the capital. However, as he begins to leave he sees a gaping hole at the bottom of the canoe. This canoe was Kink’s meaner of making a living – providing pearls to sell and food to eat – that has been passed down for generations.
This canoe represents Kink’s link to culture and tradition, a symbol of modesty and devotion. However, when I first encountered this canoe in the book, Kink was already sick with greed, driven with his ambitions to seek wealth in a far off city. By leaving his canoe to walk towards the Capital, he immediately breaks his bond with his cultural heritage. With the pearl in Kink’s hand, he is compelled only to seek material gain, leaving his surroundings irrelevant. Kink’s life has changed due to the pearl, stating “This pearl has become my soul.
If I give it up I shall lose my soul” as an excuse to beat his wife . This statement shows me the complete obsession that dominates his life, implying that to lose such a treasure is greater than to lose dignity and loved ones. I realism from reading this text the overwhelming loss of innocence that one develops in pursuit of personal gain. Morals simply become forgotten as the path to materialistic wealth is in sight. John Steinbeck The Pearl supports the idea of human corruption when faced with terrestrials wealth. Steinbeck acknowledged this idea through the use of symbolism and plot.
The pearl is the key symbol, representing great fortune as Kink is a poor fisherman. However, as his mind is continuously drawn to its possible value, he is suddenly lost in greed. This suggests to me that Kink’s ambitions begin to destroy him, turning him from a devoted and happy father to a violent man who believes happiness is dependent upon wealth. This reverses the pearl to be a symbol of corruption rather than one of hope and fortune. Steinbeck use of the canoe as a humbly further explains how traditional and social grasp is suddenly lost as one is consumed by greed.
Wealth is the first option, whereas family and culture will always be second until one can ultimately give up their desires. The Pearl teaches me about greed. If I wander down such a path I will compromise all values I previously followed and I will affect all those I love in the process. In order to prevent such a destructive choice I will need to limit my wants and focus on my needs and values. The Pearl is a insightful book, granting me a greater understanding of greed in everyday life. The Pearl is an exceptional read.