The Periling Pearl

Imagine your life after winning a huge lottery, or getting three cherries in a Casino, The Pearl written by John Steinbeck is about a pearl hunter, who found the pearl of the world. Kino the main protagonist finds the pearl of the world, a glory that one could only dream of. The main theme in this book is greed as an oppressive force.


In the book, Kino’s baby boy Coyotito got stung by a scorpion. Unable to pay for a doctor, Kino went to hunt for a Pearl that could cover the cost of the treatment. “All manners of people grew interested in Kino- people with things to sell and people with favors to ask. Kino had found the Pearl of the World.” (Steinbeck 22) After Coyotito, Kino’s baby got stung by the scorpion, they went to the doctor in hopes of treatment. After a long period of time, the servant of the doctor notified them that the doctor was not home and was called away. This was a lie since the doctor was at home resting, Kino was turned away because he was a poor native, who could not offer treatment. Later that morning, Kino and his wife Juana, took their family canoe to go diving for Pearls. Juana’s prayers for finding a large Pearl was answered. Kino surfaced the largest pearl that either one of them has ever seen, also at the presence of the Pearl, Coyotito’s sting disappeared. The word that Kino had found a Pearl of great worth spread like wildfire. Everyone came to congratulate Kino, who let them gaze upon his amazing find. That evening the local priest came over to bless him for his fortune, and reminded him of his position in the church. Shortly after two dark figures approach the house, Kino identified them as the doctor and his servant. The doctor claimed to be busy at the time, but rushed over as soon as possible. At first Kino, enraged, attempted to get rid of the doctor, but was soon skeptic, when the doctor mentioned the possibility of an infection. The doctor prescribed a white powder, laced into water, which was given to the baby. An hour later the doctor returned to Kino’s house, at the time the baby was growing violently ill, and fed the baby a potion which calmed it’s squirming. After all the treatment is done, the doctor slyly inquired on how he would be paid. The next morning Kino and his wife headed to a pearl dealer, where they planned to get a great sum of money from selling the Pearl. Kino’s cousin warned him that the dealers would try to cheat them and get it for a cheap price. At the end of the day Kino was unable to find an honest dealer, who would offer him a good price. This passage shows greed in a negative way. The doctor who was at first turning a blind eye towards Kino’s dying baby, suddenly was concerned and worried about its wellbeing after the discovery of the pearl. Also the Priest, an individual who was supposedly pure, and treated all the poor and wealthy equally, also went over to Kino to baptize his baby, marry him and his wife, and give him blessing. The pearl dealer, only had money on their minds and was willing to do anything to get the pearl from Kino. It is not only these individuals who are greedy, every person has a natural instinct, that allows them to have a desire to receive an item. “I had not heard of it. Do you keep this pearl in a safe place? Perhaps you would like me to put it in my safe?” (34) Although now stated directly, it is very clear that the doctor wants to find a way to gain access to the Pearl. Greed has impacted the main protagonist in a very negative way. Kino had a lovely family going, until the arrival of the Pearl. The Pearl itself is a very pure object, but human greed pollutes it. In order to protect the pearl Kino become very defensive, and no longer shows the love and care to his fellow natives.




Sewol: (1994-2014) Sunken


Citation: Ap, Raphael Ahren and Alexander Fulbright, Tamar Pileggi, Stuart Winer, Sue Surkes, Times Of Israel Staff, Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel Staff and AFP, Raphael Ahren, AFP And Raphael Ahren, Niv Elis, and Judah Ari Gross. “Fears Grow for 283 Missing in Korea Ferry Disaster.” The Times of Israel. N.p., 16 Apr. 2014. Web. 02 May 2017.


In the real world thousands of people’s lives are jeopardized due to the greed of others. Based on The Times of Israel, over a 110 people die annually, due to accidents caused by not having proper material and funding. Based on an CNN article 283 innocent ferry passengers died, due to the greed of a private business company. “Yonhap news agency said the 146-meter (480-foot) -long ship, which travels twice a week between Incheon and Jeju, was built in Japan in 1994 and could carry a maximum of 921 people, 180 vehicles and 152 shipping containers.” Based on later statistics, Sewol was carrying almost triple of what it was authorized to contain. Eventually, when the ferry was sinking, specialist analyzed that the time taken for the boat to sink was 54 minutes, but due to overload of weight from shipping containers and humans, it took under half an hour to submerge the entire boat.

The greed of others has yet again caused the death of a total of 297 people. People who are higher in the economic status, take of advantage of others to make money. In this case both the owner of the Ferry and the private business owner, allowed the overload of shipping crates in order to save time and money. Human greed is one of the largest enemies known to man kind, it corrupts many, and endangers others, do you know any others?

John Steinbeck Nobel Prize

The Pearl Review