By Nina TorskaMon. 29 Apr. 20243min Read

Our Favourite The Pearl Quotes

In this blog, we explore poignant quotes from "The Pearl," unveiling how wealth alters a fisherman's life and morals.
Our Favourite The Pearl Quotes

In John Steinbeck's "The Pearl," I am deeply moved by the stark portrayal of how a simple treasure can unravel the fabric of one's life, showcasing Steinbeck's profound insights into human nature and morality.

This novella, rich with symbolism and sharp critique of wealth's corruption, captures the devastating impact of greed on a fisherman and his family, wrapped in a narrative that is both haunting and tragically beautiful.

"For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more." — John Steinbeck

This quote sets the stage for the narrative’s exploration of human desire and dissatisfaction, hinting at the overarching theme of insatiable greed that drives the plot forward.

"And because the story has been told so often, it has taken root in every man’s mind." — The Narrator

The narrator’s observation about the tale’s ubiquity reflects on the universal and timeless nature of the story’s moral lessons, suggesting a shared human experience that resonates deeply within collective consciousness.

"The pearl has become my soul... If I give it up I shall lose my soul." — Kino

Kino’s declaration highlights his deep emotional and spiritual investment in the pearl, which symbolizes his hopes and dreams, yet also signifies the dark obsession that overtakes him.

"Luck, you see, brings bitter friends." — John Steinbeck

This line encapsulates the idea that newfound wealth or fortune often attracts envy and malice, a theme that is central to the unfolding drama as Kino’s fortune leads to violence and tragedy.

"I am a man, and that means I have a past." — Kino

Kino's reflection on his identity and his inherent flaws underscores the human condition, characterized by imperfections and the burden of history, which shapes his actions and decisions throughout the story.

"The music of the pearl had merged with the music of the family so that one beautified the other." — John Steinbeck

Steinbeck uses the motif of music to symbolize harmony and dissonance, illustrating how the pearl initially seems to promise enhancement to Kino’s life but ultimately brings discord.

"He looked into its surface and it was grey and ulcerous. Evil faces peered from it into his eyes." — Kino looking at the pearl

As Kino gazes into the pearl, its appearance changes to reflect his growing recognition of its true nature and the malevolence it has brought into his life, symbolizing the corrupting power of wealth.

"She (Juana) knew there was murder in him, and it was all right; he had to protect the pearl." — John Steinbeck

Juana’s acceptance of Kino’s capacity for violence in defense of the pearl underscores the drastic changes in their moral landscape, provoked by their desperate circumstances.

"The killing of a man was not so evil as the killing of a boat." — Kino

This paradoxical statement by Kino reveals his distorted priorities under the pearl’s influence, where material and existential needs collide and confuse his moral compass.

"And the pearl was ugly; it was grey, like a malignant growth." — John Steinbeck

In the end, the pearl’s beauty transforms into something hideous, mirroring the destruction and grief it has caused, and illustrating the moral of the story about the true cost of greed.

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