How Does Steinbeck Characterize Kino's Greed

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You hit the jackpot. Enough to provide for you and your family beyond your wildest dreams. Imagine the riches it would bring, but also the darkness of human nature. Kino lives contently in a small village with his wife Juana and son Coyotito. It’s a simple but happy life. That is until he finds “the pearl of the world.” Although it seems that all of their problems will be gone, in reality it gives way to evil and desire. John Steinbeck creates a remarkable novella following the story of Kino and his family as they are impacted by greed. In the story of The Pearl, characteristics of Aristotle’s System of Tragedy are evident through Kino’s demonstration of hamartia, catastrophe, and catharsis. Firstly, Aristotle’s System of Tragedy…show more content…
Everyone in the village could relate to Kino and his family and they were deeply impacted. To illustrate this point, Steinbeck states, “Everyone in La Paz remembers the return of the family… It is an event that happened to everyone.” Kino’s actions affected all of the people of La Paz. They learned the lesson to not follow the path that he took. Also, in the story it says, “And there was a panic in Kino now, a panic of flight. The trackers would find his trail, he knew it. There was no escape, except in flight.” This quote shows how Kino believes that the only way out of the hole that he dug his family into is to run away. Society is taught that if they are greedy, they will end up in Kino’s situation with no way out. Whether it is the people in the book or the reader, catharsis is evident because humanity learns from Kino’s poor decisions. Hamartia; the mortal flaw, is shown through greed, and when Kino suffers the effects of this, it is called the catastrophe. At the end of the story, society learns from his mistakes, therefore making catharsis also evident. Kino is a tragic hero because he exemplifies hamartia, catastrophe, and catharsis; elements of Aristotle’s System of Tragedy. These characteristics appear in many other pieces of literature and help us understand what is happening in the story and what the author is trying to
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