Symbolism in the Pearl by John Steinbeck Essay

1492 Words Apr 15th, 2011 6 Pages
In John Steinbeck’s The Pearl, rich symbolism is used to convey the message of the parable being told. Symbolism is a useful tool in storytelling because it helps the author add a deeper meaning to the story. In The Pearl, Steinbeck enriches every aspect of the story with symbolism from the setting, to characters, and the plot itself. The different symbols interact with one another throughout the story, which ultimately affects the outcome of the novel. The first and most important symbol is the massive pearl that Kino finds. The pearl is very rich with symbolic meaning, which changes through the story. When Kino finally brings the massive stone to the surface and examines it, he views the pearl as the blessing of a lifetime. …show more content…
This blissful music symbolizes Kino’s happiness is the beginning of the story. Although he leads a simple and poor life, he contently embraces as his own. The next instance when Kino hears music is when he is diving down about to discover the pearl. Kino is collecting oysters with the Song of The Undersea playing in his head. As he dives deeper, the faint sound of another song grows louder. Kino identifies is as “the Song of The Pearl That Might Be”(Steinbeck 9). This song symbolizes the life-changing prize that Kino is about to discover. At this point in the story, the sound associated with the pearl is a sweet sounding melody, corresponding to how the pearl is viewed at the time. Later, when Kino is showing his discovery to the village, discussing what he plans on doing with his wealth, the song of the pearl is the sound of trumpets triumphantly playing. As the inner greed of the envious town people begins to emerge, the music associated with the pearl becomes darker. During the first attempt to steal the pearl, Kino wakes up with the evil music pulsing through him, subconsciously aware of the predator lurking outside. By the second robbery attempt, they Juana too can hear the Song of Evil. The final songs that played in the story were the return of Kino and Juana to the village. The sound of the song of the family blared ironically in Kino’s ears as they walked with their dead child, the ultimate price of Kino’s greed. The sound

Related Documents