Essay Assignment: the Pearl by John Steinbeck

Who or what do you think is responsible for the horrible tragedy Kino and his family experienced? In my opinion Kino’s affection for his family is responsible for the tragedy Kino and his family experience because he becomes sidetracked with future goals for his son, then he confuses love with greed, and protects his family instead of being with them and protecting them. Then after his son died the mom and dad threw the pearl back into the ocean and it was never seen again. It was really Kinos own fault because he was greedy and selfish and it came back to “haunt” is the correct word, it came back to haunt him in the end..

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Kino became sidetracked as some would say with future goals for his son once he had intercepted the pearl. Kino literally talked about privileges Coyotito would have because he found the pearl. It states in the novel, “In the pearl he saw Coyotito sitting at a little desk in a school, just as Kino had once seen it through an open door” (Steinbeck 13). He probably wanted the best for family and his son mostly but in the end that really did not work out for him or his wife. The greed was probably what did it he cared too much for his family, the selfishness was karma and something bad was bound to happen to them and unfortunately they lost their son.

In addition, Kino confused greed for love of his family, and then he heard the Song of Family, and the Song of the Pearl together. The novel states, “And the music of the pearl had merged with the music of the family so that one beautified the other.” (Steinbeck 11). Once he had heard these songs together he did not know which one was more important his family, or the pearl. Doing that was a mistake because Kino believes his dreams for his family are beneficial, when in reality it is what’s really destroying them. He was ruining his family when he thought that he was helping and doing what was best for them, and that’s where the greed had came in.

Finally, Kinos constant ambition to protect his family had a tendency to keep having a negative affect. His trying to maintain the safety of his family while hiding from the trackers was very repulsive. The novel states, ” If I can escape them, I will come to you, it’s the only safe way” (Steinbeck 29). He was trying to protect his family, but Juana disagrees, and attempts to help Kino lead the trackers into the mountains. Due to Kinos decision, Coyotito is murdered in the process. That was the tragedy that had happened to Kino’s family. So his love and affection for his family was considerably the downfall of his family.

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