Another The Pearl

The Curse of the
Oyster In The Pearl, by John Steinbech, evil transforms
certain humble citizens into envious savages. Evil was
exhibited by the doctor who refused to treat Coyotito
because his parents had no money. When the doctor heard
of Kino and Juana\'s fortune in finding "the pearl of the
world" (722), he boasted that they were patients of his while
thinking of a better life for himself in Paris. Coyotito was
healed when the doctor finally came to their straw hut. He
deceived Kino by giving the baby a white powder that made
him go into convulsions. An hour later he came and gave
Coyotito the remedy and immediately wanted to know when
he was getting paid. The evil in the pearl had reached the
heart of the doctor. The pearl\'s evil did not restrict itself to
infecting Kino\'s peers; it also affected Kino himself. He
wanted to sell the pearl and use the money to better his
family\'s standard of living. He had dreams and goals that all
depended on the pearl. When Juana wanted to destroy the
pearl, Kino beat her unmercifully: He struck her in the face
and she fell among the boulders, and he kicked her in the
side...He hissed at her like a snake and she stared at him
with wide unfrightened eyes, like a sheep before a butcher.
(742) Juana saw through the outer beauty of the pearl and
knew it would destroy them, but Kino\'s vision was blurred
by the possible prosperity the pearl brought. The malignant
evil then spread to a secret cult known only as the trackers.
This corrupt band of ruffians attacked and destroyed Kino\'s
life. The very night that the trackers learned of Kino\'s pearl,
they tried to steal it. The next night, Kino was attacked
twice, which resulted in Kino committing murder. After the
final struggle of the night, Juana went back to their home to
find more baneful members of the heartless cult rampaging
through their belongings to find the pearl. The end result was
Kino and Juana\'s house going up in flames. The trackers
then committed the cardinal sin, they destroyed Kino\'s
canoe: This was an evil beyond thinking. The killing of a man
was not so evil as the killing of a boat. For a boat does not
have sons, and a boat cannot protect itself, and a wounded
boat does not heal. (744) The trackers annihilated the most
important material possession that any citizen of the
community owned, "...for a man with a boat can guarantee a
woman that she will eat something. It was the bulwark
against starvation" (717). The evil invaded Kino\'s life and
everyone who knew of it.

Category: Book Reports