The Pearl

The Pearl: Symbolism Analysis 10th Grade

God, Glory, and Gold. These are the three G’s of European colonization, and the same three G’s that would lead to the destruction of entire civilizations of native people and their forced submission to European ethnic and socioeconomic forces for hundreds of years. Amongst these forces was the power of Spain and this nation's role in the destruction and hegemony over Native Mexicans; the drive for colonial dominance resulted in the downfall and dehumanization of millions. This is the story of western civilization and indeed the story depicted in John Steinbeck’s novella The Pearl, with the narrative of Kino and his people set against the oppressive members of his community. But beyond illustrating this story literally, Steinbeck uses different literary elements to convey the complex yet destructive tolls of ethnocentric oppression. Thus, in the novella The Pearl, Steinbeck uses elements such as imagery and symbolism to demonstrate ethnocentric constructs that work against Native Mexicans.

At the core of the toll of ethnocentric constructs and the oppression of Kino’s native people is the way in which Steinbeck uses imagery to convey the submission and general attitude of Kino’s people concerning the dominating Spaniards. In...

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