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Steinbeck s The Pearl was based on a story he had heard during his expedition with a friend to the Gulf of California about a poor Mexican fisherman who found a pearl which he though would guarantee his future happiness but however it almost destroyed him before he threw it back into the ocean Astro 62 While Ricketts idea about the inherent virtues of the simple natural life serve as a thematic substratum on which Steinbeck builds his parable the novelists chief concern in The Pearl is with how mans failure to participate in the region inward adjusts can lead to complete personal and social disintegration Astro 66 Man himself appears becomes or emerges as good or evil because of the way men use other men nurturing or destroying the human relationship between them validating or invalidating the meaning of their existence Karsten 54 John Steinbeck can properly be called the author of disengagement on at least two levels for its traces the symbolic journey and withdrawal of novels protagonist Hayashi 48In Steinbecks novels he offers a moral lesson about the nature of good and evil Steinbeck illustrates that good and evil are inseparably intertwined and that this duality is essential to existence Thus the ambiguous nature of the pearl- which at first symbolizes beauty and hope but becomes gray and ulcerous- parallels Kinos duality as he himself becomes cold and hardened Meyer 30 At first the faces of evil here and everywhere are brilliant attractive and tempting It is only by mans nature that when Kino first discovers the pearl hes deceived by its brilliance and the false promise it holds out to him He declares that the pearl is his soul and if he gives it up he will give his soul up Hayashi 49 Also in Steinbecks novels he asserts that duality undergoes all of mans actions and that intertwining good and evil are a part of each postlapsarian time after the
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