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Moral Values

Moral values are important in life. Moral values readers make judgments on which actions are right or wrong based on certain virtues, qualities and principles. These virtues are universally accepted. Honesty is a virtue which is upheld by all societies. There are many other positive qualities that would help us become a better person. Looks at some of the moral values found in the novel below:

Being honest is important as it shows one’s character. There is a saying that honesty is the best policy. These are not mere words as people who are honest are highly regarded by everyone. In the story, Kino and Juana are honest to each other. They speak the truth and are god-fearing people. Juan Tomas and Apolonia are also honest. They do not cheat or steal from others to prosper. From Kino and Juan Tomas, we learn of many who have cheated these poor people in parting with their pearls. In the past, these people have even employed agents to sell their pearls in the capital. But, the agents cheated them and they never heard of them nor saw their pearls again. From the actions of the characters especially Kino and Juana, we learn the value of being honest.

Trust is important in a person’s life. We need to be trustworthy so that people will have high regard for us. In the story, Kino trusts Juana, Juan Tomas and Apolonia. He trusts his people and knows that everyone is interested in him and his family’s well-being. The people are united and they are together. When Coyotito is stung by the scorpion the neighbours gather in front of Kino’s brush house. Similarly, they follow Kino and Juana to see the doctor to treat Coyotito. The element of trust is very important when we live as a society. Kino knows that he can trust his people. However, things change after Kino finds the pearl and people become envious of him.

In the story, Kino takes his pearl to La Paz, the pearl trading centre to sell his pearl. He does so because he trusts the people. However, Kino realises that they are trying to cheat him and defies them. Kino starts to be suspicious of people especially when he has a strong hunch or a feeling deep inside him.

Juana trusts her husband and follows him to the mountain to escape evil men. She trusts Kino as her and Coyotito’s saviour. Even when Kino asks her to use another trail and escape from the trackers, while he misleads the trackers, she refuses to do so. She knows she can trust Kino to safeguard her and Coyotito. We learn from the actions and thoughts of the main characters the importance of trust.

Being brave to face the challenges that confront us is a positive quality. We need to be brave in order to act in the best possible way. In the setting of the story, the people depend on the sea to make a living. They go out to the sea to catch fish and also dive into the sea to look for pearls. Going underwater by holding one’s breath is not easy. It requires skills and one needs to be brave. Kino is a brave man who has great stamina. He can hold his breath for more than two minutes underwater.

Kino is brave. He faces the intruders and attackers, putting up a fight. In self-defence, he kills one of his attackers. He also kills three trackers knowing very well that they are out to kill him and his family. Kino shows that he is a brave man throughout the story. It is difficult to make important decisions in life. Kino makes some important decisions because he is brave to face the consequences of his actions. He is willing to keep the pearl even though he knows for sure that evil eyes are prying and malicious individuals are out to rob him of it.

Even after being attacked twice, losing his canoe and house, Kino wants to fight back. He is brave to travel to the capital to sell his pearl. This action is seen as defying the older order of life. Kino is brave to break away from his ‘life-trap’, knowing that his family needs a better future.

Juana is also brave. She acts fast in deciding to flee the place. She shows that she is a brave woman. When Coyotito is stung by a scorpion, she sucks at the wound to try to get the poison out of his body. She does not fear her life and risks it to save her baby. She makes a brave move by trying to throw the pearl away, knowing very well that Kino disapproves of such an intentions.

We learn about bravery from the actions of the characters and their reactions to situations.

The danger of greed
While greed is seen as a theme in the story and how it leads to evil actions, it is also seen as a moral lesson. Greed shows its ugly face throughout the story. It is because of greed, the desire to be rich and great, that people resort to evil ways causing others to suffer and be miserable. In “The Pearl” we see the downfall of a man and his family. Kino loses everything because of others’ greed. Kino loses his livelihood, brush house, canoe, and is forced to flee from people who are out to kill him and his family. Kino also loses his future. The greatest loss for Kino is the death of Coyotito, who he wishes would be educated and be his family’s hope for a greater meaning to life. But, Coyotito is shot accidentally when he is mistaken as a coyote pup by one of the trackers.

Greed is seen through the actions of the doctor, pearl buyers, attackers and trackers. The neighbours become envious of Kino. Everyone wish to own the pearl and make a fortune out of it.

The doctor agrees to treat Coyotito because he is driven by greed. He has his own evil plans in place. Greed also drives the other to be cunning, malicious, intolerant, selfish, calculative, insincere, possessive and violent. Greed is the cause for men to turn violent and attack Kino. It causes people to kill. It brings great hardships, sufferings and miseries to Kino and his family. In the end, it causes Kino to be aimless and lose the meaning of life. We learn that greed leads to one’s downfall.

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