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Literacy Essay - Research Paper Example

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Literacy Essay

However, everything turned out to be the opposite of what he expected. Throughout the novel, Steinbeck employs various writing techniques not only to teach the moral lesson of the story but to demonstrate the theme of naturalism. One writing technique that Steinbeck employs in The Pearl is the deliberate use of Spanish and local color to show “[his] affinity for the people [he was] depicting, to position them with, rather than above, the working class” (Gladstein 81). In fact, according to Steinbeck himself, his boyhood friend Max Wagner had lived in Mexico for a number of years and had learned Spanish from him, and that Steinbeck’s father was able to learn Spanish while “cowboying for the Post family” (82). Obviously Steinbeck had considerable exposure to the language. In The Pearl, Steinbeck uses Spanish in the names of the characters Juana, Coyotito, Juan Tomas and Apolonia, as well as the place called La Paz. He also introduces a Catholic priest, who is a major character in any setting involving a criticism of religion. Moreover, the elements of the Catholic religion, which dominate Spanish culture, are also present in the story such as the Church, God and heaven. Perhaps, one reason why Steinbeck uses the idea of God and the Church is that he uses it as an avenue to criticize religion and the society that believes in God. Steinbeck may not be anti-Christian or anti-Catholic but through his portrayal of the jealousy of the townspeople and the greed in the priest, he somehow exposes the fact that sometimes people simply use the cloak of religion to hide their hidden evil desires. Another technique that Steinbeck never fails to use in The Pearl is the use of self-character, who is usually an “underdog” in the 1930s, and “whose world remains consistently bleak” (Benton 150). These underdogs usually demonstrate the highest possible level of their humanitarian ambitions and they may fail or triumph in the end, but in The Pearl, they fail. Perhaps, Steinbeck uses this technique in order to demonstrate the fact of life that God may not favor someone just because he is an underdog, not because God is a tyrant who favors only the strong and not because God favors people at random. The true reason that Steinbeck may want to portray is that God does not favor the greedy, the selfish and the proud, which Kino has become since he got hold of the Mother of All Pearls. A third technique that Steinbeck employed in writing The Pearl is the use of hatred, racism and discrimination in his novel (Khoudi iv). In the novel, the discrimination and hatred of the villagers focuses on Kino and his family for they are lucky to have acquired the pearl, which is a great fortune that the villagers believe they can never have. However, the villagers then begin to envy them for their good fortune. The dealers seek to fool them and the trackers seek to kill them just to have the pearl. It is also emphasized many times in the novel that Kino is an “Indian,” which seems to somehow justify the ill feelings of the townspeople towards him. However, what Steinbeck portrays here is the fact that people sometimes justify their criticisms with something that is too obvious when in fact their true reason for criticism is something deeper. For example, the townspeople may say that they ...Show more

Summary

(Name) (Professor) (Subject) (Date) John Steinbeck’s Writing Style in The Pearl I. The use of Spanish local color A. Spanish names B. Elements of the Catholic religion II. The use of a self-character or underdog III. The use of the theme of hatred, racism and discrimination IV…
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Literacy Research Essay essay example
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