Winter Will Be Here Soon -- Study hard as finals approach...


 
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John Steinbeck

 

In The Pearl, by John Steinbech, evil transforms certain 
humble citizens into envious savages. Evil was exhibited by the 
doctor who refused to treat Coyotito because his parents had no money. 
When the doctor heard of Kino and Juana's fortune in finding "the 
pearl of the world" (722), he boasted that they were patients of his 
while thinking of a better life for himself in Paris. Coyotito was 
healed when the doctor finally came to their straw hut. He deceived 
Kino by giving the baby a white powder that made him go into 
convulsions. An hour later he came and gave Coyotito the remedy and 
immediately wanted to know when he was getting paid. The evil in the 
pearl had reached the heart of the doctor. The pearl's evil did not 
restrict itself to infecting Kino's peers; it also affected Kino 
himself. He wanted to sell the pearl and use the money to better his 
family's standard of living. He had dreams and goals that all 
depended on the pearl. When Juana wanted to destroy the pearl, Kino 
beat her unmercifully:
 He struck her in the face and she fell among the boulders, and 
he kicked her in the side...He hissed at her like a snake and she 
stared at him with wide unfrightened eyes, like a sheep before a 
butcher. (742) Juana saw through the outer beauty of the pearl and 
knew it would destroy them, but Kino's vision was blurred by the 
possible prosperity the pearl brought. The malignant evil then spread 
to a secret cult known only as the trackers. This corrupt band of 
ruffians attacked and destroyed Kino's life. The very night that the 
trackers learned of Kino's pearl, they tried to steal it. The next 
night, Kino was attacked twice, which resulted in Kino committing 
murder. After the final struggle of the night, Juana went back to 
their home to find more baneful members of the heartless cult 
rampaging through their belongings to find the pearl. The end result 
was Kino and Juana's house going up in flames. The trackers then 
committed the cardinal sin, they destroyed Kino's canoe:
 This was an evil beyond thinking. The killing of a man was not 
so evil as the killing of a boat. For a boat does not have sons, and 
a boat cannot protect itself, and a wounded boat does not heal. (744)
The trackers annihilated the most important material possession that 
any citizen of the community owned, "...for a man with a boat can 
guarantee a woman that she will eat something. It was the bulwark 
against starvation" (717). The evil invaded Kino's life and everyone 
who knew of it.

 




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