Saturday, November 13, 2010

Theme:Education "The Pearl"

Based on the novel “The Pearl”, written by John Steinbeck, explain the role of "education".

First of all, it is shown that education plays an important role in Mexico during the colonisation of the Spanish. It widens the gap between the two classes of people; the coloniser and the Mexican Indians. The colonisers like the doctor, the priest and the pearl buyers live a luxurious life because they are educated. The doctor for example earns his living because of his medical qualification. Kino has to trust him to treat his son even though the doctor is known for his corruption. The doctor able to live in a huge mansion, drink hot chocolates from porcelain cup, wear silk robe and pay a servant to serve him. Meanwhile, the Mexican Indian, like Kino who is uneducated lives in a brush hut and eats simple corn cakes for breakfast. Unlike the doctor, he has to live from hand to mouth every day. He has to dive into the sea to look for pearl.

Moreover, when Kino finds the great pearl, he determines to sell it at a high price so that he can send his son, Coyotito to school. He believes that education can help to improve his standard of living. He does not want his son to be ignorant like him and can easily be cheated by the rich and educated. At one point of the story when the doctor visits his brush hut, Kino has no other choice but to let the doctor to treat his son. He has to rely on the doctor’s expertise because of his lack of education.

Finally, education determines one’s status in a society. “The Priest” is one figure which is highly respected in La Paz City because he is the only one who can read and write in Latin. He is the only one who understands the bible which is written in Latin. So, by being given the authority as a priest at the church, “The Priest” earns the highest status and respects from the people. In the novel, it is depicted that after Kino finds the great pearl, “The Priest” visits Kino and Juana at their brush hut and reminds them to get marry at the church. The Priest seems to have an authority over them and very much respected by them and other Mexican Indians.
Education is clearly shown as important in this novel. Education determines one’s way of life, one’s standard of living and one’s status in a society.

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