by John Steinbeck
The Pearl Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"I know," said Kino. "I have heard our father tell of it. It was a good idea, but it was against religion, and the Father made that very clear. The loss of the pearl was a punishment visited on those who tried to leave their station. And the Father made it clear that each man and woman is like a soldier sent by God to guard some part of the castle of the Universe. And some are in the ramparts and some far deep in the darkness of the walls. But each one must remain faithful to his post and must not go running about, else the castle is in danger from the assaults of Hell."
"I have heard him make that sermon," said Juan Tomás. "He makes it every year." (4.19 – 20)
Religion is used as a tool of oppression in La Paz.
Thus Kino's future was real, but having set it up, other forces were set up to destroy it, and this he knew, so that he had to prepare to meet the attack. And this Kino knew also – that the gods do not love men's plans, and the gods do not love success unless it comes by accident. He knew that the gods take their revenge on a man if he be successful through his own efforts. Consequently Kino was afraid of plans, but having made one, he could never destroy it. And to meet the attack, Kino was already making a hard skin for himself against the world. His eyes and his mind probed for danger before it appeared. (3.30)
Kino projects onto "God" the negative attributes of the oppressive European colonists.
The head shawl covered the baby, and one end of it came across Juana's nose to protect her from the evil night air. Juan Tomás embraced his brother with the double embrace and kissed him on both cheeks. "Go with God," he said, and it was like a death. "You will not give up the pearl?"
"This pearl has become my soul," said Kino. "If I give it up I shall lose my soul. Go thou also with God." (5.46 – 5.47)
This phrase "Go with God" is repeated several times in The Pearl, yet Kino has already admitted that the gods are against his desires to better his life. Thus his journey is doomed from the start, and every utterance of this expression is a reminder of as much.