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Short story The Pearl Essay

In the short story The Pearl written by John Steinbeck, throughout the story, Kino’s decisions and morals change by wanting and expecting more than what he currently has. Basically by expecting more out of the Pearl, Kino wanted to do good for his family. Steinbeck wants the readers to understand how something so small, this shiny pearl becomes more valuable and worthy than the real meaningful things such as family, health and nutrition.

Also after reading the book, Steinbeck wants the reader’s to not loose sight that the real important things remain within our everyday surroundings and not to put emphasis on infatuated needs that at the end were meaningless. This is what Kino tried to do but he kind of got carried away and ended up going out of hand, and to a certain point a little too far. He ends up realizing this at the end of the story. The day Kino found the Pearl, he immediately thought about what price he could get for the pearl. The main reason for this was more importantly for his son, to pay for his medical treatments and try to get the best education possible.

This following quote states that, “ My son will read and open the books, and my son will write and will know writing. And my son will make numbers, and these things will make us free because he will know—he will know and through him we will know” (26). Kino thought that by having the Pearl this will change the life of his family as well, by moving into a nicer and bigger house. Their household was going to amount to huge and important value. At the beginning of the novel, Kino was just like any other ordinary person, loving normal and a humble man.

The following quote explains that, “It was a morning like other mornings and yet perfect among mornings” (4). Kino was the kind of husband that wakes up every morning and goes out to the sea. Kino was known for all the good aspects of a husband by working hard and making a living from being a fisherman. When Kino found this Pearl, everything changed. At this point, Kino’s mindset drastically shifted from here on. His main focus became the value of the Pearl and what a monetary differences all this would make. Kino would be known for the wealthy man who found a Pearl.

He kept thinking about all the money he would receive. Throughout the middle and ending of the story, Kino stopped caring about everything even his wife. He lost control of his character. This lead Kino to use abusive actions towards his wife and seriously hurting his family. This was ultimately unnecessary. But all this did not stop here. Kino kills a man who he suspects wanted to steal his pearl. He goes to the point of burning his own house in order to escape town to get away from everything. He was determined to sell the Pearl in the capital. This was definitely going too far.

During the escape Kino’s decisions will really allow him to regret all of what he’s done. This soon happens with the death of his son. Here is one out of the two quotes that explain all this, “The music of the pearl was triumphant in Kino’s head, and the quiet melody of the family underlay it, and they wove themselves into the soft padding of sandaled feet in the dusk” (91). As Kino returns back with his wife Juana to La Paz with sorrow and regret of all that he has done. The second quote states that, “And the pearl was ugly; it was gray like a malignant growth.

And Kino heard the music of the pearl, distorted and insane” (117). The moment has come when Kino decides to throw away the Pearl back into the sea where he first found it. At this point, he ends up realizing that his wife Juana was right all along to throw away the Pearl. Kino finally understood with a hard lesson from it all. This tragic death of his son also makes him realize that he has just lost the most important part of his life, his own son. All this, over something that never materialized, with no value, no meaning nothing after all. In conclusion, the important aspect of life is family.

Kino thought he could do this and find what was best for his family but he ended up making things a lot worse. Kino’s fascination with this valuable pearl made him forget what important values really were. In the end it took something tragic to happen for Kino to realize and accept that he was completely wrong during the whole process. He lost his son but this won’t change that terrible feeling of guilt that he will need to carry for the rest of his life. Although, Kino finally decides to throw away the pearl, this won’t change anything. His son is also gone forever.


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