• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


THE PEARL HOW DOES STEINBECK PRESENT RACE IN THE PEARL? The story centres on Kino, a pearl diver, his wife Juana and their son Coyotito. Although the family live in poverty they also live peacefully. Whilst out gathering pearls one day Kino finds a huge pearl. Kino tries to sell the pearl but the pearl buyers try to cheat him. Kino is attacked and has to flee. They are being followed by trackers who want to steal the pearl. Kino kills the trackers but in the fight Coyotito is killed. Kino and Juana return to their village and throw the pearl back in to the sea. Steinbeck spent time working with immigrant Mexican workers on farms and in factories. He understood them and their concerns. Steinbeck wanted to highlight the plight and conditions of these Mexican workers. Steinbeck uses Kino and Juana as symbolic of the community in which they live. In 1940 Steinbeck made a research trip to the Gulf of California, he visited a town called La Paz. It was here that Steinbeck first heard the tale of a boy and a giant pearl. This tale was the inspiration for The Pearl. There is a strong moral theme running through the pearl that one should be content with one's life and with greed comes misfortune. Kino seeks wealth and status through the pearl; it changes him from a happy contented man in to a killer and wife beater. ...read more.


Whereas Kino and his race represent the natural, the descriptions of the doctor suggest that he represents everything that is not natural. The doctor represents a society that is materialistic. Everything including nature is owned or controlled. The gardens are not natural, they are artificially planted. An example of the doctors control of nature is the water fountain, not only are they controlling the water, it is also being wasted. The animals that Kino sees around his village are free. Significantly Kino sees "a covey of little birds chattered and flurried their wings" this Steinbeck perhaps uses as a metaphor for the villagers. In contrast when Kino reaches the town he can hear "caged birds" singing inside somewhere. These birds are owned, they are not free. Perhaps Steinbeck also intended them to be used as a metaphor for the town dwellers. The town dwellers seem themselves like caged birds. Steinbeck uses basic language to describe Kino's way of life whereas with the doctor he uses language that is more delicate and luxurious. These differences in language reflect the differences in their lifestyles. Kino's being one of poverty and hardship, eating basic food like "hot corn cake" to the doctors life of wealth and luxury, eating processed expensive food like "good bacon" and "chocolate". Steinbeck uses antithesis when describing the doctor's luxurious lifestyle when he compares "cooling" and "hot". This illustrates the controlling and wasteful nature of the doctor and the townspeople as a whole. ...read more.


He was at one with nature, part of nature but now he feels alienated from nature and everything else. As Steinbeck says "Kino has lost one world and has not gained another". Kino is becoming like the townspeople, he is becoming materialistic. He has to protect his possessions. When Juana takes action and tries to throw the pearl away Kino beats her. Kino steps out of the natural order and even nature is against him at the end. Kino is "happy for the wind" because it will cover their tracks but then with nature against him, the wind dies down and Kino knows that there will be footprints left behind. Steinbeck presents Kino's race as being very poor. Kino's race has been exploited by the townspeople for hundreds of years. They fear the townspeople who are educated and therefore have power. Steinbeck portrays Kino's race as basically good people. The townspeople however come across as evil. The priest, doctor and pearl buyers try to manipulate Kino with their knowledge. Steinbeck wants the reader to sympathise with Kino. This becomes harder to do after Kino found the pearl because his personality changed so much. He became ambitious and greedy much like the townspeople. Kino redeemed himself at the end of the novella when he threw the pearl back into the sea. Although it can be said by that point in the story the pearl has become an unwanted object that only causes him pain and no longer has the power to provide for a better future. 2483 words ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level John Steinbeck section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level John Steinbeck essays

  1. The Pearl - a chapter review.

    Sorry to say that Kino caught her in the act and hit her numerous times. Later that day knowing Kino's luck he was assaulted again, but this time the attacker was the victim because Kino had killed him. They then realized they would have to run away.

  2. Story summary of "The Pearl".

    That night, an intruder arouses him in his house. In an effort to chase away the intruder, Kino ends up with a gash on his forehead. Juana told Kino that she believe the pearl was pure evil.

  1. 'The Pearl' by John Steinbeck.

    Now they became his ambitions. Juana however, after the finding of the pearl, still did not have any ambitions, "Juana caught her breath and moaned a little." This shows that Juana knew that 'the Pearl of the World' would not be the answer to all their problems and that she

  2. Of Mice and Men: Alternative ending for the final chapter.

    We'll show him, lets take the lot and keep the key, he'll never know how much we got and by the time he sobers up we'll be long gone." "You're right, we'll give him a taste of his own money, he kept our hard earned cash away from us so

  1. Of Mice and Men - Full Summary and Analysis

    The characters describe a marked contempt for women; George even says that he prefers the company of whores to the company of the average woman, for with a whore there is only a simple transaction. There is no chance of such dangers as misconstrued advances, underage women, or faithless wives.

  2. of mice and men

    Lennie, confused, tells Crooks that George would never do that. Crooks proceeds cruelly, suggesting perhaps that George was hurt or killed, keeping him from returning. Crooks presses Lennie with this possibility until Lennie becomes threatening, demanding who hurt George. Crooks backs off, and tells Lennie that he was really talking about himself.

  1. Of Mice and men - Overall Plot.

    He is also friendly, and almost immediately makes friends with Candy, Carlson, Slim, and the other ranch hands. He has matured a lot since the incident he relates to Slim where he made Lennie jump into a river just for fun.

  2. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck.

    I been with George a long time. He'll come back tonight ...". "Don't you think he will?" At this point the text reads "Crooks' face lighted up with pleasure in his torture". Crooks goes on: "Nobody can't tell what a guy'll do". Crooks continues to push Lennie, asking him what he would do if George does not return.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work