The Pearl


Word Count: 915

Ever
since Midas\' lust for gold, it appears to be that man has
acquired a greed and appetite for wealth. Juana, the Priest,
and the doctor have all undergone a change due to money.
They are all affected by their hunger for wealth and inturn
are the base for their own destruction, and the destruction of
society. Steinbeck\'s "The Pearl" is a study of man\'s self
destruction through greed. Juana, the faithful wife of Kino, a
paltry peasant man, had lived a spiritual life for what had
seemed like as long as she could remember. When her son
Coyito fell ill from the bite of a scorpion, she eagerly turned
towards the spiritual aspects of life. Beginning to pray for her
son\'s endangered life. The doctor who had resided in the
upper-class section of the town, refused to assistant the
child, turning them away when they arrived at the door.
Lastly they turned to the sea to seek their fortune. When
Juana set sight on the "Pearl of The World." she felt as
though all her prayers had been answered, if she could have
foreseen the future what she would have seen would have
been a mirror image of her reality. Juana\'s husband was
caught in a twisted realm of mirrors, and they were all
shattering one by one. In the night he heard a "sound so soft
that it might have been simply a thought..." and quickly
attacked the trespasser. This is where the problems for
Juana and her family began. The fear that had mounted in
Kino\'s body had taken control over his actions. Soon even
Juana who had always had faith in her husband, had
doubted him greatly. "It will destroy us all" she yelled as her
attempt to rid the family of the pearl had failed. Kino had not
listened however, and soon Juana began to lose her spiritual
side and for a long time she had forgotten her prayers that
had at once meant so much to her. She had tried to help
Kino before to much trouble had aroused, only to discover
that she was not competent enough to help. A hypocrathic
oath is said before each medical student is granted a
Doctors degree. In the oath they swear to aid the ill, and
cure the injured. In the village of La Paz there lived a doctor
who had earned his wealth by helping those that were ill and
could afford his services. Not once in his long career would
he have dared refuse to aid a wealthy lawyer or noblemen.
However when Kino and the group of money hungry
peasants arrived at his door with a poisoned child he had
refused them entry saying "Have I nothing better to do than
cure insect bites for \'little Indians\'? I am a doctor, not a
veterinary." for the doctor had known that the peasants
hadn\'t any money. He had been to Paris and had enjoyed
the splendors of the world, and therefore he wouldn\'t be
seen dealing with the less fortunate as he knew that the less
fortunate would surely always be just that-less fortunate.
However it seemed that he had been stereotypical of the less
fortunate, as he soon discovered when hearing of a great
pearl discovered by the peasants who had knocked upon his
door earlier that day. A hunger for wealth was what pushed
him to visit the peasants house and aid their destitute son.
However he had already ended Coyito\'s life without
knowing he\'d done so, for if he had administered aid to
Coyito when they were first at the doctors door, Kino
would have no reason to seek his fortune in the ocean, and
would not be led down the road to hardships. One might
think that a doctor, one who has the image of being passive,
and caring should not stoop to such a level. When one is
down on their luck, chances are they will turn to superstition
in hope to acquire what it is that they would want to achieve.
A good example of this would be a good luck charm such as
a rabbit\'s foot. In La Paz the peasants were uneducated and
probably had never heard of a superstition. The peasants
only reliability, there only scapegoat was God. God had
always been their to aid them in there times of need. The first
reaction of Juana when seeing the scorpion is a good
example of spirituality, rather than attempt to kill the
scorpion she began to pray to God for safety. In La Paz the
only form of God that the peasants knew was that of