by John Steinbeck
The Pearl Theme of Greed
Steinbeck paints an incredibly simplistic portrait of greed in The Pearl. It is always evil, it always corrupts, and it brings nothing but suffering. All competition in this novel is unhealthy, and everyone is motivated by self-interest, not concern for others.
Questions About Greed
- Who is the greediest character in The Pearl?
- Is Kino being reasonable or greedy when he decides to travel north to get more money for the pearl?
- In The Pearl, does a person have to be after money to be greedy, or can the object of desire be something less shallow?
Chew on This
Every character in The Pearl demonstrates some sort of greed; it is presented as an unavoidable, universal human characteristic.
Because Kino’s desires are for the benefit of his family, not for personal gain, he does not show any greed in The Pearl.