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Literature & Language
Book Report
English (U.S.)
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The Pearl: Money As A Corruptive Force (Book Report Sample)


Directions: write a 1H-2 page typed paper concerning Steinbeck’s view on money: how does he see it (ie: an avenue to freedom, a burden, or a corruptive force)? You must support your answer with proof directly from the text (4-5 quotations). You may also include if you agree or not with his position on money BUT see note below.


• Must be typed in MLA format and have both in-text citations and a Works Cited page (OWL at Purdue) 

Reminder of MIA format conventions:

Use 4-line heading and page headers
No contractions or 1st person (3rd person only)
• Instead of saying “I agree,” say “Steinbeck is correct because...”
Spell out #s under 100
Quotations should be followed by page number in quotations; ex: “—” (9).


Student’s Name
The Pearl Essay
“Money often costs too much” –Ralph Waldo Emerson. Quotes like these make it easier to understand Steinbeck’s The Pearl and the view held by the author about money. It is true that man will do anything for money and quite often, some tend to lose a lot in the pursuit of this “necessary evil.” In this regard, Kino and Juana in The Pearl are no exceptions as shown by Steinbeck. Despite their humble beginning, a lot changes after finding the pearl that is meant to completely transform their lives. However, this fortune does not come at a cheap cost as evidenced by the many new obstacles they now have to deal with. Therefore, based on this, Steinbeck presents money as a corruptive force that can transform even the humblest of beings into bloodthirsty savages.
Throughout The Pearl Steinbeck shows the corruptive power of money. The first encounter with this is through the doctor who was approached by Kino and Juana to treat their son Coyotito. Despite the severity of Coyotito’s case, the doctor blatantly refused to attend to him because his parents did not have any money. When Kino asks if he can see him, the doctor quickly seeks to know if they have any money. He openly asks, “Has he any money?” (N.p). Based on this, it is evident that the doctor is corrupted by money, which has unfortunately taken over his humanity. His greed is further shown when later Kino finds the pearl that was worth a lot of money. Driven by the greed for money, the doctor now pretends he is ready to treat Kino’s son despite the latter having already received some help and clearly out of danger. After “treating

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