In his novel The Pearl, John Steinbeck uses the pearl to represent Kino's avarice in order to demonstrate that attempting to modify one's fate may lead to one's demise. At the end of the novel, Kino realizes that his greed has destroyed him and his family.
Greed is a strong driver for failure. It can cause people to do things that cannot be undone, like stealing or committing murder. Sometimes it leads people to sacrifice their own interests for those of someone else. In the long run, this usually doesn't work out so well for them.
Greed is also a driver for success. If you want to succeed at something, you have to be willing to go after it with everything you've got. Otherwise, you'll never get anywhere.
The Bible says in Matthew 6:24 that "no man can serve two masters." This means that you cannot give your attention to two different things at once. You must make a choice about where you want to focus your energy.
Initially, the pearl indicates a divine providence. Kino becomes increasingly greedy as he devotes all of his energy and belongings to preserving the pearl (recalling the biblical parable of the pearl of great price). As a result, it begins to represent the destructive character of materialism.
In the final scene, Kino throws himself into the sea after his wife rejects his love letter. The wave that sweeps by the camera reveals that the pearl has been lost at the bottom of the ocean. Kino has destroyed everything of value to him in his quest for wealth and fame. This represents how one's pursuit of material gain can lead to despair.
Kino was played by Marlon Brando. His character is based on J. Paul Getty, who died at age 44 while traveling in France. He had become very rich but used up his entire fortune buying paintings and sculptures which cost him millions of dollars. After losing most of his money, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.
This movie talks about the dangers of materialism and why it is important to keep in mind that we are not only human beings but also spiritual ones.
The Pearl is a moral story about gratitude and the perils of greed. Because parables provide a moral lesson, the topic is being appreciative for what one already has. A wise man named Chuang Tzu wrote this story about five centuries before Christ. He used characters instead of names to avoid punishment by the emperor. However, even with these changes, his book was still widely read during that time.
In ancient China, it was common practice for high officials to have parables written about them by others. These writers would use fictitious characters to represent the people in power. The fictional character's life stories could teach important lessons about good government. The more literate the population was, the more interest there was in reading about these stories. The editor of The Book of Parables included this chapter from Chuang Tzu in 27 AD. This shows that even though he used fictional characters, this story had great influence over Chinese culture.
The main theme of the parable is gratitude. Even though the ruler has many gifts, he still needs to rely on others to survive. His soldiers protect him and help him rule, so they too should be given credit. The other important message is the dangers of greed. Although having more than you need causes problems, having less than you need makes you vulnerable.
It is critical to remember that the pearl represents evil throughout the story. She represents evil in the sense that she is born as a result of sin, and so she is God's judgment for Hester's adultery. Pearl, as a person, represents both Hester's and Dimmesdale's crimes. They both acted inappropriately toward another human being, and so they are both responsible for her death.
Pearl also represents the fact that Hester was shown an adulterous relationship when she saw Chillingworth with Mrs. Bradshaw. This caused her to feel inadequate as a wife and mother, and so she turned to drink which led to her committing adultery. Through these acts, she has brought shame upon herself and her family which leads to their deaths at her hands.
Dimmesdale, on the other hand, tries to avoid responsibility by saying that he showed Hester "the plague spot" on his heart but she did not care. However, this is not true; she does care about him and wants to help him. When she tells him she loves him, he doesn't respond back because he isn't willing to accept it.
Finally, Pearl represents religion. Her father was a priest which means she had access to religion from a young age. However, she chose to use this access for bad purposes by trying to get closer to God by committing adultery.