The Pearl

Nature plays an important symbolic role throughout the narrative. Why do you think Steinbeck includes so many references to nature?

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The natural world represents how Kino sees his world. At the beginning of the story, Kino wakes and is contented. His natural world around him is calm: it is an extension of Kino's acceptance of his place in the world. After Kino finds his pearl, nature takes on more aggressive and violent tones. The pearl, once a beautiful part of nature, becomes the corruptor of men's souls.