by John Steinbeck
The Pearl Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
The scorpion moved delicately down the rope toward the box. Under her breath Juana repeated an ancient magic to guard against such evil, and on top of that she muttered a Hail Mary between clenched teeth. (1.15)
Juana displays a mingling of two different kinds of faith.
But in the song there was a secret little inner song, hardly perceptible, but always there, sweet and secret and clinging, almost hiding in the counter-melody, and this was the Song of the Pearl That Might Be, for every shell thrown in the basket might contain a pearl. Chance was against it, but luck and the gods might be for it. And in the canoe above him Kino knew that Juana was making the magic of prayer, her face set rigid and her muscles hard to force the luck, to tear the luck out of the gods' hands, for she needed the luck for the swollen shoulder of Coyotito. And because the need was great and the desire was great, the little secret melody of the pearl that might be was stronger this morning. Whole phrases of it came clearly and softly into the Song of the Undersea. (2.12)
Kino does not distinguish between luck, magic, and prayers. In The Pearl we see an amalgamation of the religion of the natives with the religion of the Europeans colonizers.
But the priest was speaking again. "It has come to me that thou hast found a great fortune, a great pearl."
Kino opened his hand and held it out, and the priest gasped a little at the size and beauty of the pearl. And then he said, "I hope thou wilt remember to give thanks, my son, to Him who has given thee this treasure, and to pray for guidance in the future." (3.24 – 3.25)
Men of religion are not exempt from the universal traits of greed and self-interest in The Pearl.