Reflection Assignment for “The Pearl” by John Steinbeck
The Pearl by John Steinbeck is full of symbolism and contains in-depth biblical integration of morals. Through mere characters of Kino and Juana; Steinbeck painted a picture of moral struggle in everyday life. The pearl, canoe, ants and the struggle for saving pearl; is all a mere depiction of how one strives to grasp something, which is not written in his fate. Ants in chapter one depict how Kino thinks and belief (Steinbeck, 3). He wants the nature to take its course and does not want to interfere in its natural process. ‘Lion-Ant’ kills the dusty smaller and weaker ants via its trap, made Kino belief that life cycle and fate cannot be changed even with will or with interference.
Simultaneously, in chapter 6, Kino is struggling to cash the pearl and in the due process he faces all types of hurdles and bottle necks. He stamps his foot on the ants in the sand ground to displace the row of ants, which shows that he wants to fight nature. However, he could not and eventually the nature wins. Thus, Ants took least notice of his foot and started crawling on his foot; changing their route neither they stopped nor they cared or feared. Hence, fate brings what is determined by the creator and humans struggle to change what is predetermined. Thus, their struggle becomes futile and similarly Kino couldn’t do a thing even after opposing nature. It was not in Kino’s fate to enjoy richness and comfort hence, he struggled and gained nothing in the end, but lost his only son in the mean process.
In the opening scene of the novel Kino observes the natural world around him, his actual place and position in this world. As a pearl diver living in a brush house, Kino has not regretted his life nor his place before. But right after finding precious pearl, his perception changed and his desire to obtain wealth and comfort overcame his simple and contended style of living. Struggle become futile when one goes against the natural course of God. A pearl diver aims to find pearls, but to attain wealth via it is not in his power. No matter how hard one strives to move in contrast to the natural flow of God, it becomes exhausting and reward less in the end. I observed that Kino and Juana once had a strong bond, but with pearl in their life their struggle increased and they both fought and lost compassion for each other. Eventually, lost their only son and brush house whilst to protect the pearl; the pearl, which did not bring happiness to them, but plain misery and regret of life time.
When moral lessons are intended by the author, stories entail some sort of loss for the characters to demonstrate worth and respect for the principles of life. Kino’s son got killed due to riffle shot and his brush house burnt, he is left with Juana and just the pearl. Either he chooses pearl and loses Juana in the process or he throws the pearl back in the sea and surrenders to nature. To protect the precious pearl, Kino lost his beloved son, the price to attain wealth and comfort is heavy, either one has to sacrifice his morals or his beloved relation. The later is shown in the novel to describe that satisfaction is not attached to wealth, but it is hidden in the simplest things and relations of life.
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Steinbeck, John. The Pearl. London: Puffin, 2011. Print.
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