In the novel ‘The Pearl’ the author, John Steinbeck has clearly stated a message. He taught us the life lesson, that being wealthy isn’t everything through a character he created named Kino. Steinbeck had placed the setting in a poor village in La Paz and described Kino’s relationship of their close-knit family. When the pearl was found, the plan was to sell it and use the money to pay for Coyotito’s medical bills also to send him to school for an education.
This extraordinary idea was demolished by the actions of Kino’s greediness for money. As the novel progressed the events only became more serious. He did not only hurt the people around him that love him, but himself. “In Kino’s ears the Song of the Family was as fierce as a cry. He was immune and terrible and his song had become a battle cry.” Kino turned down pearl buyers, hit his wife, murdered a man, ran away from home and shot his baby.
Kino became avaricious. When the pearl buyers had not offered Kino the amount of money he expected, “Kino’s face grew dark and dangerous.” Maybe he thought they were trying to cheat him. Perhaps, Kino was just being a ‘pigheaded fool.’ Logically, anyone as poor as Kino would have taken such a great deal of money but he wanted more.
“All of the time Juana had been trying to rescue something of the old peace, of the time before the pearl.” Juana felt the evil of the pearl devastating her husband. Kino had become abusive and obsessive. Earlier she tried as much as she possibly could to warn Kino and save themselves. “Let us destroy it before it destroys us. Let us crush it between two rocks. Let us throw it back in the sea where it belongs.” The minute Kino spotted her trying to discard his future, he struck Juana on her face. From then, Juana’s best interest was to keep quiet because she knew there was a murderer in him. Kino not only hit his wife but he had murdered a man he thought was attacking the pearl.
“He was an animal now, for hiding, for attacking and he lived only to preserve himself and his family.” Kino developed into a vicious tyrant. In order to cover the dead body of the murdered man Kino set their house on fire and he decided running for their life was the best thing to do. Their boat was damaged so they were forced to do it by foot. This procedure excluded his family’s thoughts in doing so. It was his way or no way.
Kino was a terrified man. Every minute of the day, he was alert on their journey to the Capital. When the hunters came, there was protection towards the pearl, his family and his life. “Kino laid as rigid as the tree limb.” He planned to kill the one with the rifle and steal the lethal weapon.
Kino went to the extent of not even breathing to make his procedure easier before his attack. “Kino edged like a slow lizard down the smooth rock shoulder.” He had to wait for the lighting of the moon. “His legs were as tight as wound springs.” When Kino grabbed the rifle pulled the lever and fired, he killed his baby, Coyotito. Kino’s greediness had caught up to him and made him face reality. All his dreams for Coyotito were shattered and the silence of death of his beloved son had “over shadowed the night.”
When the pearl was thrown in the lovely green water, the evil music of the pearl “drifted to a whisper” as it disappeared under the secrets of the ocean. Kino had discarded his evil personality and learned the life lessons of family. Its better to be rich in life than in wealth.