Desire and Consequence: the Pearl and the Old Man and the Sea

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mayahalo
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Desire and Consequence in‘The Old Man and the Sea’ and ‘The Pearl’.

Summary of stories:

Steinbeck’s touchingly simple novella ‘The Pearl’ was written in 1945, and explores the destructive effect of capitalism on a traditional Mexican village, around the turn of the century. It tells the story of Kino, an Indian pearl diver who discovers a massive, beautiful, and extremely valuable pearl. The pearl fills Kino with a new desire to abandon his simple, idyllic life in favor of dreams of material and social advancement, dreams to give his son and wife everything they desire, but dreams that are oppressed by the social hierarchy of Kino’s village. Although Kino has discovered this beautiful pearl worth more than anything he has found before, it only leads to death and destruction and eventually leaves Kino and his wife with nothing, and their beloved son dead.

‘The Old Man and the Sea’ is another novella, the story of an epic struggle between an old, seasoned fisherman and the greatest catch of his life. Written in 1952 by Ernest Hemingway, it was the last major work of the author before his suicide, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. It is the tale of a fruitless and ancient fisherman named Santiago. Santiago had spent eighty-four days without a catch, and, confident that his unproductive streak will come to an end, sets sail farther out than usual. He places his bait deep into the water and a few hours later an enormous marlin takes the bait, however the old man cannot reel the fish in, and instead the fish pulls the boat far into the ocean for three days and three nights. The old man receives cuts and slashes from the fishing line each time the fish struggles but still he does not give up. Eventually the fish tires and Santiago is able to pull the fish close enough to the surface to kill it with a harpoon, but it is too big to hold in the…...

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