This story is about kino finding a pearl and the effects of this. Kino and juana are the main characters of the story and want to change their poor life circumstances to a wealthier lifestyle when they found the pearl. They encounter many conflicts throughout the story. In the end of all this they lost the most precious son in their lives. In the pearl steinbeck utilizes the pearl a symbol of materialism displaying the the theme of wealth leading to destruction.
Kino went into his canoe and found a pearl in the ocean. After that He thought of what he could buy “His lips moved hesitantly over this – “A rifle,” he said. “Perhaps a rifle”(12). Kino is thinking about what to buy now that he has become wealthy from the pearl. This is just the beginning of the desires of kino and the start and on the path to destruction. In the start of the story it does not really affect the family in a bad way at all. Kino later starts to really think about what he wants out of the pearl. He dreams of the things he wants “But Kino’s brain burned, even during his sleep, and he dreamed that Coyotito could read, that one of his own people could tell him the truth of things. And in his dream, Coyotito was reading from a book as large as a house, with letters as big as dogs, and the words galloped and played on the book. And then darkness spread over the page, and with the darkness came the music of evil again, and Kino stirred in his sleep; and when he stirred, Juana’s eyes opened in the darkness. And then Kino awakened, with the evil music pulsing in him, and he lay in the darkness with his ears alert.(70)”. These thoughts were evil to have because he was falling into a trap. This relates to the theme because he has a lot of power with the pearl and is leading him to a path of destruction.
Later in the story juana starts to think differently of the pearl. Juana starts to open her eyes and says this “This thing is evil,” she cried harshly. This pearl is like a sin! It will destroy us,” and her voice rose shrilly. “Throw it away, Kino. Let us break it between stones. Let us bury it and forget the place. Let us throw it back into the sea. It has brought evil. Kino, my husband, it will destroy us.”(75).