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The Theme Of Wealth In The Pearl

854 words - 4 pages

The Theme of Wealth in The Pearl
Wealth is something that all people want. It was no different in The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Wealth is a major theme in the book. Wealth can bring a lot of good, but also can be very destructive if it is abused. The symbols, imagery, and characters all bring out how wealth can be helpful or destructive.
The animal imagery in the book shows how wealth is destructive. The animals and people start off happy in the book. However, at the first mention of potential wealth, this scene changes. People begin to act like animals. Kino throws back his head and howls like a wolf when he discovers the pearl. The use of animal imagery showed how money makes people ...view middle of the document...

Their lives would have improved a lot. In this way wealth would have been very helpful. However, it was also very destructive. Kino changed into an animal-like person. He became mean and hurtful to his wife. As a result of how wealth destroyed his character, he killed several people. His own son was ultimately killed. Wealth also affected the pearl-buyers for the worse. They became greedy and “as watchful as hawks”. The doctor as well was affected by wealth. When no money was involved, he didn’t want to help Kino. When he realized he could make money, he made Coyotito, who by this time was getting better, sick again. Wealth had so corrupted him that he stooped so low as to make a child sick for his own financial gain. All of this destruction was caused by the potential power and greed that wealth brought.
Finally, the symbols show the destructive power of wealth. One major symbol is the symbol of the music. The music showed throughout the book what Kino was feeling and thinking. When he was pearl hunting, he heard the “Music of the Pearl that Might Be” (p. 17). It promised much for Kino and Juana. This was good music. There was also the evil music or the music of the enemy. This music was prominent when bad things happened as a result of the greed for the pearl. The Music of Evil was at times intertwined with the Music of...

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