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In The Pearl, John Steinbeck show that wealth can have dire consequences as it breeds greed, envy, and evil; sometimes in the possessor of the wealth and sometimes in those who surround the wealthy. Kino's discovery of the pearl should have brought him wealth and happiness; instead, it brings ill tidings and creates vast sorrow in his life.
John Steinbeck also shows man's inhumanity to his fellow man throughout the novel. The wealthy people, represented by the doctor, force the poor class of people to exist on simple food and in humble dwellings. They seize the wealth for themselves and refuse kindness or charity to those in the lower class, as evidenced by the doctor's refusal to treat Coyotito. At the same time, the wealthy trample one another as they struggle to climb the ladder to wealth and success.
The mood changes from one of peace and calm to one of great anxiety as Kino strives to hold on to the pearl. At the end of the novel, the mood is one of somberness and sorrow as Kino loses his son and hurls the pearl back into the sea. The various moods help to emotionally involve the reader in the novel.