Dehumanize: to deprive of human qualities, personalities, or spirits. In the novel The Pearl, the main character, Kino, seeks to gain riches and status through the large and valuable pearl that he finds. At first, the pearl represented wealth, and Kino's family believed that it would solve all of their problems. But in the end, the family was tragically changed. In John Steinbeck's The Pearl, greed is very dehumanizing. Greed outshines the characters' actions, and what they say.
In the beginning, when Kino's son Coyotito is bitten by a scorpion, the doctor will not treat him. But when the doctor hears of Kino's great find, he comes to their small brush house to treat Coyotito. After treating Coyotito, the doctor asks about the medical expenses. Even though the doctor has a good life and lots of money, he still wants more. Greed controls the doctor's mind and the way he acts.
...view middle of the document...
He also said, "My son will go to school." Greed overtakes Kino's mind. He wants all the right things very badly just for his family.
Kino decides that he wants to sell the pearl, and expects that it is worth a lot. Kino and Juana wear their very best clothes on the day they go to the pearl buyers. But, the first pearl buyer claims that the pearl is worthless. Kino becomes angry, and the pearl buyer has three other buyers come in. They offer a low amount of money for the pearl. Kino knows that the pearl is worth more and that the pearl buyers are just trying to cheat him. They are greedy, for wanting to cheat Kino, just to go and sell the pearl for much more money.
Juana realized what harm the pearl was doing to their family. During the night, Juana sneaks out with the pearl to try to get rid of it. Kino sees her and chases her down. Grabbing the pearl from her, he punches her in the face and kicks her in the side, and she falls down. Greed has overcome Kino, for he does not want to lose the pearl. He plans to take it to the capital where he will not be cheated.
While taking the pearl back to his house, Kino is attacked by a group of men. He fights them off, killing one of them. Juana realizes that they have to leave the town, because no one will believe Kino's story. While travelling in the mountains, a group of trackers are following Kino, Juana, and Coyotito. At night, Kino comes up with a plan to attack the men. He sneaks up on them, and kills all three. Sadly, his son Coyotito is shot by one of the men. The pearl has dehumanized Kino, causing him to kill multiple men because of his greed.
In the novel The Pearl, greed is a destructive force. John Steinbeck refers to the town like and animal. When poison enters the animal, its whole body is affected. The pearl was like this to the town. Everyone in the town wants something from the pearl. In the story, Kino transforms from a happy, contented father to a harsh criminal, demonstrating the way greed destroys innocence. Kino's greed leads him to behave violently towards his wife, and ultimately to his son's death. Greed leads him to detachment from his culture and his society.