The Seven Deadly Sins of the world are seven sins that can lead to a major change in someone’s mind and life. Greed is one of the seven. In the book, The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, the theme of greed and how money changes people are a recurring element. Even Kino, who was just a poor man living in the village and wanted nothing but the best for his family, was changed for the worse by the pearl. Greed is a prominent theme in this book, in ancient times, and even in today’s world.
First, in The Pearl, greed plays a major role in the plot of the story. The main character, Kino, starts the story as a humble villager living in La Paz. Kino finds a great pearl, the greatest of them all, while he is out oyster diving. This single event would change Kino and his family forever. Everyone in the city was talking about the discovery. They all feared what could come if Kino did not have the right mindset, “All of the neighbors hoped that sudden wealth would not turn Kino’s head, would not make a rich man of him, would not graft onto him the evil limbs of greed and hatred and coldness.
For Kino was a well-liked man; it would be a shame if the pearl destroyed him” (Steinbeck 34). From this one discovery, came a world of hurt and greed to the family of Kino and Juana. The pearl was all that Kino could think about and he became obsessed with the idea of him becoming rich and creating a better life for his family. These desires started out as innocent, but as Kino had the pearl for longer and longer, it invaded his mind and greed overcame his life. The pearl was the one thing that was supposed to save Kino and his family from poverty, but it ultimately was the downfall of his family and resulted in the death of his only son. It was only after the death of his son that Kino realized the misfortune of the pearl and he decided to get rid of it.
Secondly, greed is not only a major theme in the book, but it played a major role in ancient times also. Since the beginning of recorded history, greed has impacted society and the lives of both the rich and poor. One of the most popular representations of how greed was present in ancient times is the example of the fall of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was one of the largest and most powerful empires of all time, but ultimately greed was the downfall of this great empire.
The Romans controlled a large amount of land, but they wanted more. The Romans had a lot of power, but they wanted more. They even had a lot of money, but they wanted more. This desire of wanting more is what ended up corrupting the government and causing the gradual collapse of the empire (Andrews). In the Bible it states, “For the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Even in Biblical times greed played a prominent role in people’s everyday lives.
Finally, in today’s day and age of innovation and creativity, greed plays a prominent role in the lives of individuals. Greed is not always a negative thing, but too much greed is what turns things negative. Greed is what drives people to get up every day and try and make a better living for themselves and others, but there needs to be a healthy balance between using greed as fuel to make not only your life but the lives of others better and using greed to only desire selfish things and get it at all costs (Alder).
Another one of the Seven Deadly Sins is envy. Envy and greed are often closely related and go hand and hand with each other. Envy can root from greed and the want for something that is not yours. Envy is a step further from greed and it is very dangerous. If one is envious of someone else, they want something that the other person possesses. This leads to crimes such as theft and murder and many other crimes that one can commit, and their lives are never the same after. Greed is happening everywhere, and it has been for centuries.
Overall, greed is a deadly sin that can have a major impact on one’s life. Greed plays a role in the book The Pearl, in ancient times, and even in today’s world. Money is the root of greed and greed is the root of evil. Therefore, money is the root of all evil.