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Candid Essay

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Alex Viqueira

In John Steinbeck’s The Pearl avarice is an overriding theme that is distinguished through Kino’s automatic need for new things after he found the pearl, Kino’s sudden suspicion and loss of trust in the people around him, and Kino’s unwillingness to give up the pearl after it becomes the cause of problems. As a generally simple and uncomplicated native in Mexico, Kino shows how greed can affect someone when he starts to display unfamiliar characteristics, such as materialism and distrust. The novella continues to show negative aspects the pearl thrusted on Kino as it goes on, and his growing selfishness is emphasized. Greed is an escalating characteristic in Kino as The Pearl continues and is highlighted by Kino’s sudden violence and negative character development that is caused by the pearl.

After Kino first found the pearl and the general wave of excitement had passed by, he immediately begins to think of all the things he wants to buy: “We [Juana and Kino] will be married...we will have new clothes” (24). Kino even mentions wanting a rifle instead of a harpoon, which not only serves no purpose for a fisherman and a simple native, but replaces something that would have a lot of use for him. Suddenly, aspects that meant little to him before he found weal...

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