Ever since greed erupted throughout the Bible, it appears to me that the greed of man has grown readily throughout time. Juana, Kino, The Priest and the Doctor have all undergone a transformation due to their wealth. They are all affected by their hunger for wealth and in turn are the foundation for their own devastation, and that of the society around them. I believe that Steinbeck’s “The Pearl” is a study of man’s self-destruction through his own greed.
Juana, the “patient, fragile wife” of Kino, a hardworking pearl fisherman, had lived a spiritual life for what seemed like as long as she could remember. When her son Coyotito fell ill from the bite of a scorpion, she eagerly turned towards the spiritual aspects of life, by beginning to pray for her son’s Precious life. The doctor resided in the upper-class section of the town, built of hard stone, while Kino and his friends resided in brush houses. This doctor refused to aid the child of his deadly bite, turning them away when they arrived at the door, for they had no riches to offer the “fat, lazy doctor”. Juana and Kino then sought out the sea to bring them the riches they so desperately needed to provide for Coyotito. When Kino set his eyes on what he called “The Pearl Of The World”, he felt as though all his prayers had been answered with this one pearl. One night, Kino heard a “sound so soft it might have been simply a thought…” and he quickly battered the trespasser. This is where the problems for Kino and his family originally began. The fear that had mounted in Kino’s body had taken control over his actions. Soon even Juana, who had always been “obedient and respectful” towards her husband, doubted him severely. “It will destroy us all” Juana screamed as her attempt to rid the family of the pearl had floundered. Kino, had not listened, however, and soon Juana began to lose her spiritual side and for a long time she had overlooked her prayers that had once meant so much to her. She had tried to help Kino before too much trouble had aroused, only to determine that she was not capable enough to help.
... to be that man has acquired a greed and appetite for wealth. Kino, Juana, and the doctor have all undergone a change due to ... jealousy and greed in the community. The pearl was intended to solve all of Kino's problems, but it ended up destroying his life, dreams, ... no money. On that very same day, Kino found the pearl that would change his life, as well as the people around him. ...
In the village of La Paz, where Kino and his family lived, there was a doctor who had earned his wealth by helping those that were ill (and some that merely thought themselves to be ill) and could afford his services. Not once in the doctors career had he dared to refuse aid to a wealthy lawyer or nobleman. The doctor is described as to having “his eyes resting in puffy little hammocks of flesh and his mouth, drooped with discontent”. The villagers knew of “his ignorance, his cruelty, his avarice and his sins” so they followed Kino and his family to see this detestable doctor. However when the group of money hungry peasants arrived at his door with a poisoned child, he 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 these peasants had no money to offer him. He had been to Paris and had enjoyed the splendors of the world. He would therefor not be seen dealing with the less fortunate such as these because he knew the less fortunate would always be less fortunate, never making anything of themselves or having many worldly possessions to call their own. 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 peasant, Kino, that had knocked upon his door earlier that day. A hunger for wealth is what pushed him to visit Kino’s house and aid his impoverished son, because now Kino had riches to offer this greedy old doctor. One might think that a doctor, who usually has the image of being passive and caring, should not stoop to such a covetous level.
“Doctor in the House” by R. Gordon The text under analysis is taken from the book “Doctor in the House” written by Richard Gordon. Richard Gordon is the pen name used by Gordon Ostlere, an English surgeon and anaesthetist. As Richard Gordon, Ostlere has written numerous novels, screenplays for film and television and accounts of popular history, mostly dealing with the practice of medicine. He is ...
In La Paz, the only form of God that the peasants knew was that of the Priest of the church. To the peasants, the Priest was so god-like that the peasants refused to see any faults in his actions. The reader however is able to determine that the Priest is abusing his position in society. The news of Kino’s pearl “came to the priest walking in his garden, the news put a thoughtful look in his eyes and a memory of certain repairs necessary to the church.” It was not the priest’s wealth to think about such things as this. The church of God definitely needs funding, but the peasants are unable to contribute these funds, does that make them unable to receive the sacraments should they want to appropriate them? The Priest is so set on achieving money and social status that he puts aside the real reason that a person becomes a Priest—to help those in need and to teach the word of God.
In “The Pearl”, Steinbeck expresses the fact that man’s materialization for wealth and property leads to the self-destruction of man, both mentally and physically. The Priest of La Paz, the Doctor, Juana and Kino where all overwhelmed by greed. The Bible stories will always live on as an admonition to those who crave the warmth and comfort of money. Beckoning to those who struggle to achieve wealth, and hoping they will respond, and possibly not put wealth on the top shelf of life.