The Pearl

"The news came to the doctor where he sat with a woman whose illness was age, though neither she nor the doctor would admit it."

Please help interpret this quote. I wonder particularly why neither the woman nor the doctor would admit it.

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Steinbeck's writing is full of these seemingly simple but profound insights. At center of this quote is the universal desire to avoid aging and death. The old woman is suffering and both she and the doctor want to try hard to diagnose it, because of course that means they can understand the malady and possibly treat or control it. To admit that it is just the malady of aging is to accept the tragedy of aging - something we can neither control nor defeat. So we struggle on to believe we control our lives, while time ticks by reminding those of us who choose to look that we are not in control of this most basic fact.

The quote refers to two main points. First the doctor has heard of Kino's good fortune. He had previously sent them away because Kino had no money to treat his son. Now, with Kino's Pearl, the doctor claims he is treating the child. The doctor thinks of exploiting the situation for money. He dreams of Paris and the thought of visiting again. The sick woman's illness is age. There is no cure to age, it happens to everyone. The doctor or the woman will not admit that the cause of her ailment is old age and that, in the end, there is nothing to do about it.

Wow... I'm really satisfied with your interpretation of this quote! I'm so grateful for your help! Thx....