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"Mass-murderers come from the most surprising places(Ex. Hitler-Vegetarian/Painter)" - Maituan

Pearl Symbolism

  • Date Submitted: 02/02/2014 08:54 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.3 
  • Words: 1598
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Symbolism is when an object is used to represent an idea or conflict. For example, the color red on a country’s flag is symbolic of the bloodshed that was given for said country. This literary device is used by a plethora of   authors in their literature. Authors use symbolic elements to create a story that is unique. In The Pearl, John Steinbeck provides the symbolism of the pearl, the darkness, and the songs to create a deeper meaning for the reader.

    Throughout this novel, John Steinbeck uses darkness to symbolize evil. For example, the mentions of the color of black represents evil and darkness. When the doctor comes to treat Coyotito, Kino says, “The baby is nearly well now.’ Then the doctor says, ‘Sometimes, my friend, the scorpion sting has a curious effect. There wille apparent improvement, and then without warning-pouf...he shifted his small black doctor’s bag so the the light of the lamp fell upon it. ” (Steinbeck 30).   The black of the doctors bag is symbolic of the greed within the doctor. His intentions appear good, but they are evil. For example, when Coyotito id almost well, the doctor poisons him; so that he can cure him and get the pearl as payment. When Kino and his family are running from the trackers, they find a cave to stay in for the night. Steinbeck illustrates that Kino is evil and dangerous by saying, “For a moment his body was black in the cave entrance” (84). The blackness of Kino’s body is symbolic of the evil that has taken over him. However, the color black is symbolic of the evil that has taken over Kino. In the Pearl, Steinbeck refers to the enemies as dark. Kino buries the pearl somewhere in his house. At night, someone sneaks in and tries to steal it.   Kino does not know who it is, and Juana replies, “ I don’t know...the Dark Ones” (Steinbeck 63). The “Dark Ones” are trying to steal the pearl, and they will do everything they can to get it from Kino and his family. When Kino and Juana are resting at Juan Tomas’ house, Kino...


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