The Pearl Theme ParagraphOne of the many themes John Steinbeck expresses in his novel The Pearl is that being wealthy can cause greed and jealousy which would lead to a series of problems in someone’s life. At the beginning of the book, Kino’s son Coytito gets stung by a scorpion, but Kino struggles to afford the medical expenses to cure his son’s illness.
Later, he discovers a rare pearl which gives him hope to make his family live in a better, more tolerable living conditions. However, villagers and civilians who live in the same town are aware of the news surrounding the pearl which sparks envy and jealousy; they all want a piece of it. As a result, the town’s doctor is proved to be a greedy man. He says that “he alone in the world is supposed to work for nothing, and he is tired of it” (Steinbeck 11) when he refuses to help Kino and his wife Juana as they are poor. However, as soon as the doctor hears about Kino’s pearl, he tries to provide as much service as he can to receive more money from Kino’s discovery. Unfortunately, the doctor’s greediness forces him to lie and give Coytito a pill which makes him sicker to have Kino visit the clinic more often. The doctor confirms that greediness in his behaviour is a result of jealousy which is caused by the pearl’s value. From then on, Juana’s intuitions give her a bad feeling about the pearl, so she tries to convince Kino that it is evil.
She says, “This pearl is like a sin! It will destroy us. Throw it away, Kino. Let us break it between stones. Let us bury it and forget the place. Let us throw it back into the sea.
It has brought evil. Kino, my husband, it will destroy us” (Steinbeck 38). For the time being, he does not listen to her, but the pearl ends up bringing uncertain fate; his son Coytito is killed.
This all happens because Kino is so blind to the reality that the pearl causes him more problems. Therefore, greed caused by Kino’s sudden wealth brings harm to his life.