I do like the book, but I’m not getting the underlying theme perhaps of wealth being evil–unless I’m misunderstanding the lesson, being of different mind. It is human nature that can be evil.
Once again, Juana, sure that the pearl is the source (rather than her thievin’ neighbors) of the trouble, takes it and steals away into the night and tries to destroy it:
Quietly he tracked her, and his brain was red with anger. She burst clear of the brush line and stumbled over the little boulders toward the water, and then she heard him coming and she broke into a run. Her arm was up to throw when he leaped at her and caught her arm and wrenched the pearl from her. He struck her in the face with his clenched fist and she fell among the boulders, and he kicked her in the side. (p. 76)
Of course Kino is angry–through there is no excuse for his hitting and kicking her. The doctor, the priest, someone who has entered his house to steal the pearl, the pearl buyers–all are screwing him royally, and now his wife wants to throw the pearl away. It is human nature that is evil; the nature of those who feel for some reason that they should have what Kino has, deserve a portion of it. Kino’s response to protect it, in my mind, cannot be called evil or greedy. He is dirt poor and has found a pearl that will provide something better for his family. But the pearl is blamed for what is happening to them.
My closest friend just sold their house in MA for $695,000. I’m enjoying helping her find a new one, looking at the MLS listings in NH where they’ll be moving–they have a lake cottage there already but want a regular home as well–listening to her tell me about what she’s seen.
Kino and Juana need to sell that pearl and move to a place where they can be among people who understand that what they have is theirs, and who are willing to celebrate the good fortune of others instead of claiming it.