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The Pearl

Analyse av The Pearl av John Steinbeck

Sjanger
Analyse/tolkning
Språkform
Engelsk
Lastet opp
11.02.2002
Tema
The pearl


The pearl is written by John Steinbeck.
John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, in 1902.
He received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962.
He has written some other novels such as Cannery Row, The Red Pony, and Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck writes in a way that makes his characters look very realistic, and makes the seacoast of La Paz, Mexico come to life. Steinbeck’s characters in the pearl are not the rich men and women of Mexico, but are the homeless, the pearl divers, the poor fishermen, and the farmers. However, this a story filled with love and pain. The story tells us not only of the lives of the poor who seek to live off the land, but of the struggles of all people.

The story is simple but exciting. However, within its simplicity is the great complexity of a tale filled with imagery and symbolism. I think that Steinbeck manages to describe the feelings of people and the life in the small village, in a superb way!

“And the music of the pearl drifted to a whisper and disappeared…..”

The story ends with Kino throwing the pearl away . However this has been a very dramatic story, from the beginning to the end. And the changes in Kino has showed the readers how greed can change a normal man and his life.
To begin with, Kino was a poor Mexican fisherman. He had a mate called Juana, and a little baby called Coyotito. Then one day a scorpion stung his little Coyotito. To get a doctor for Coyotito, they had to come up with some money. Therefore Kino dives for a pearl. Kino finds a big pearl, however this was not an ordinary pearl, but “the pearl of the world”.
From there, you see an ordinary man, who loves his family and friends, give it all up to make him self richer. He would nevertheless give it up, quoting; "’This pearl has become my soul,’ said Kino. ’If I give it up I shall lose my soul."

Through the selling of the pearl he dreams of how happy he will become. His son will become educated, he will buy material things for his wife and himself.
The town becomes jealous at Kino for finding the pearl of the world, and there are several attempts to steel the pearl from Kino.
That is one of many examples of what that has come out of the finding of the pearl. I believe that Kino is overwhelmed with some kind of bliss. He can’t be thinking clear. Before Kino finds the pearl; Juana and his baby, Coyotito, was his life. This changes when Kino.
The pearl has not only had a negative effect on Kino, but a negative effect on the whole village of La paz. We can see that clear in the start of chapter three, Quoting; The news stirred up something infinitely black and evil in the town. The poison sacs of the town began to manufacture venom”. And finally when the news had been known for sure, many people in the town started to act differently towards Kino and his family. Take the priest; he has little or no time for the villagers when they cannot afford to pay for his services. He does not marry Kino and Juana because they cannot afford to make a contribution to the church. When Coyotito falls ill, he does not offer to help. However, as soon as he hears of Kino’s good fortune in finding the "pearl of the world," he goes to the village telling the fisherman and his family to remember that God has given them this good fortune. Also the doctor acts the same way.

Consequently in the story, some songs are popping up in Kino’s head. This is kinds of imagery/ symbolism that gives us a pointer whether the situation is good or bad. However, Kino, who grew up with this music, has his own songs in his head. His songs provide him comfort and give him warning. We first become aware of his song in the first chapter, when he "sings" us the Song of the Family. This song is a peaceful and comforting song of the sounds of his girlfriend, his baby, and his small home. It is the song of the warmth and wholeness. Kino also hears the Song of the Undersea. In this song Kino finds pride and strength. As he approaches the pearl while he is diving, he hears its "secret melody." The music of the pearl is at first quiet and secret; later, as Kino thinks of all the wonderful things it can provide, its music is "shrilling with triumph." The pearl’s song, like the life of the family, is changing. At times the song of the pearl seems to challenge its beauty-things are not always what they seem. Kino’s song is warning him of impending danger. After the doctor leaves his home, he hears "the evil music pulsing." And, as Kino prepares to throw the pearl back into the sea, he is drawn to the Song of the Family which has become "as fierce as a cry." The pearl now has a different song, "distorted and insane." The song of the pearl changes often, from “protective and providing, to the sound of evil and greed. The songs are very characteristic for the story.

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