The Pearl Symbolism Essay

1557 Words 7 Pages
also highlights as to how the riches fail in repairing the inner vacuity. The lust for pearls throws Kino into the paradoxes. He is both blessed and cursed, owner and slave, free and enthralled. His sole thinking of improving his material status brings all this confusion in his life. Money in itself is not bad but its lust is fatal.
On the whole, The Pearl explores the secrets of man's nature through the rich layers of symbolism. In this novel, Steinbeck shows the disastrous effects of stepping out of the conventionally established community system. Kino puts away his moral sense. He displaces his sense of filial and social being. Thus, he declares "this pearl has become my soul. If I give it up, I shall lose my soul…" (Hawker Ed Hayashi, Steinbeck.qtd 2012: 43). As an obsessed have-not Kino embraces false values. He equates the pearl, a symbol of material wealth with spirituality. At length, he frees himself from the adverse conditions in his life. He chooses deliberate actions in order to get rid of his temptations. Steinbeck wisely depicts the black, white and gray aspects of the human character. Juana has a white, a pure character. The doctor has a black, an evil character.
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He wants that man’s individual identity should be surrendered to the interests of the group he belongs to. Meanwhile he watches that the proletariate often go amuck. The groups become more a crowd than a disciplined unit to achieve their goals. In East of Eden, "the individual is all in all" (Sharma 1984: 264). Prior to taking care of a group, its individual units should be fortified. "I must fight against: any idea, any religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about" (Steinbeck1970: 126). The potential of the individual man should be guarded well because his "free, exploring mind" is more important than his unidentifiable role in a group

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