The Pearl

In The Pearl there are many themes that go along with the story very well. Today i’m just going to be focusing on two of the main themes in the book. The topic im choosing for this paragraph, is Good versus Evil. In the book there are many examples of Good versus Evil, so i’m going to show and explain some quotes and details. The first quote that I chose was this… “But Kino’s brain burned, even during his sleep, and he dreamed that Coyotito could read, that one of his own people could tell him the truth of things.

And in his dream, Coyotito was reading from a book as large as a house, with letters as big as dogs, and the words galloped and played on the book. And then darkness spread over the page, and with the darkness came the music of evil again, and Kino stirred in his sleep; and when he stirred, Juana’s eyes opened in the darkness. And then Kino awakened, with the evil music pulsing in him, and he lay in the darkness with his ears alert.

” Kino senses evil by hearing a song is a suggestion that he’s operating on intuition, not on conscious thought. The second example that i’m using is… “Hush,” said Kino. “Do not speak any more. In the morning we will sell the pearl, and then the evil will be gone, and only the good remain. Now hush, my wife.” It’s unclear whether Kino is patronizing his wife by calling the pearl “evil” or whether he truly acknowledges its nature. Another quote is… “Now the tension which had been growing in Juana boiled up to the surface and her lips were thin.

“This thing is evil,” she cried harshly. “This pearl is like a sin! It will destroy us,” and her voice rose shrilly. “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.” And in the firelight her lips and her eyes were alive with her fear.” Here it is Juana, not Kino, who has the incisive ability to recognize evil. Lastly… “He looked into his pearl to find his vision. “When we sell it at last, I will have a rifle,” he said, and he looked into the shining surface for his rifle, but he saw only a huddled dark body on the ground with shining blood dripping from its throat.

And he said quickly, “We will be married in a great church.” And in the pearl he saw Juana with her beaten face crawling home through the night. “Our son must learn to read,” he said frantically. And there in the pearl Coyotito’s face, thick and feverish from the medicine. And Kino thrust the pearl back into his clothing, and the music of the pearl had become sinister in his ears, and it was interwoven with the music of evil.” The pearl isn’t evil itself, as evidenced by the mingling of music here—it is simply made evil by those who desire it. All of these examples that I have shown lead up to the theme “Good versus Evil” in the story “The Pearl.” In the second paragraph, i’m going to be discussing about another theme in The Pearl, and give quotes and examples with great detail. The theme that I chose is Greed. The first quote that I picked shows that greed can corrupt.

“In the town, in little offices, sat the men who bought pearls from the fishers. They waited in their chairs until the pearls came in, and then they cackled and fought and shouted and threatened until they reached the lowest price the fisherman would stand. But there was a price below which they dared not go, for it had happened that a fisherman in despair had given his pearls to the church.” Greed has corrupted what should be a pure system. In this quote, we are not sure whether it is greedy or if it’s not enough. “Then to the lovely gray surface of the pearl came the little things Kino wanted: a harpoon to take the place of one lost a year ago, a new harpoon of iron with a ring in the end of the shaft; and – his mind could hardly make the leap – a rifle – but why not, since he was so rich. And Kino saw Kino in the pearl, Kino holding a Winchester carbine. It was the wildest daydreaming and very pleasant. His lips moved hesitantly over this – “A rifle,” he said. “Perhaps a rifle.” ” Is Kino guilty of greed in his desire for a rifle? Or is he entitled to dream for more? These are some questions to think about as we are discussing this theme. The theme greed is a fundamental human act.

“Word of it crept in among the nuns; the beggars in front of the church spoke of it, for they would be there to take the tithe of the first fruits of the luck. The little boys knew about it with excitement, but most of all the pearl buyers knew about it, and when the day had come, in the offices of the pearl buyers, each man sat alone with his little black velvet tray, and each man rolled the pearls about with his fingertips and considered his part in the picture.” Greed is such a fundamental human characteristic that acting according to its mandates is simply a matter of filling one’s “part in the picture.” Greed has lead into animalistic brutalities for Kino.

“Kino looked down at her and his teeth were bared. He hissed at her like a snake, and Juana stared at him with wide unfrightened eyes, like a sheep before the butcher. She knew there was murder in him, and it was all right; she had accepted it, and she would not resist or even protest. And then the rage left him and a sick disgust took its place. He turned away from her and walked up the beach and through the brush line. His senses were dulled by his emotion.” Greed has rendered Kino capable of animalistic brutalities.

The last theme really has to involve the theme greed and the pearl. “Everyone in La Paz remembers the return of the family; there maybe some old ones who saw it, but those whose fathers and whose grandfathers told it to them remember it nevertheless. It is an event that happened to everyone.” After Kino discovers the pearl, each person is consumed by greed and imagines himself as the one who has found the pearl. Likewise, when the pearl destroys Kino’s family, everyone’s fantasies are similarly destroyed – Kino’s heartbreak is shared by all. We should all learn from this theme “Greed” that it can change anyone in many ways.  

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