The Pearl’s perspective of late 19th century, Mexican society dissects everything from social status and race to gaining equality and the problems that arise from its gain. Steinbeck’s critique of late 19th century, Mexican society is in fact an invitation to critique our own reluctant to change society in early 21st century. John Steinbeck’s The Pearl tells how race can endanger a society; people of “superior” races take advantage of people in lower classes. If class division is based on superficial qualities, it can endanger a society by leading to greed, murder, and depression. For example, the KKK represents one of the common hate groups in society today; they bully races that they do not think fit in their view of the “perfect society”. Though society has come a long way, a close observation of classism and racism in Steinbeck’s novel and an in-depth consideration of our modern society reveals that humans still separate each other by their race and class similarly to how they did about 150 years ago.
Race can endanger a society by making people of “superior” races take advantage of people in lower classes. Kino sees a doctor to help his son. The doctor refuses to even speak to him because he does not want to speak to a lower-class man. He first refuses to see his son based on his assumption that he has no money to pay him. The doctor and other sociality figures in the novel represent the struggle that the lower classes face because of their race and cultural background. In 2012, the Ku Klux Klan stages a fright with the Westboro Baptist Church. The WBC’s plan is to picket at the funerals of children in Connecticut’s Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, where they claim is because of a mitigated attitude toward homosexuality…
…eps toward real human progress.
“Dateline: Matteson, Illinois.” VHS. Frontline, 1992. Video. 10 Mar. 2014.
Green, Justin. “When Hate Collides: The KKK Meets the Westboro Baptist Church.” TheDaily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 19 Dec. 2012. Web. 10 Mar. 2014..
“Jane Elliott A Class Divided.” YouTube. Frontline, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2014..
McDonald, Brian. “Chapter 5: Tell the Truth.” Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to BuildingStories That Resonate. New York: Libertary, 2010. N. pag. Print.
Steinbeck, John. The Pearl. N.p.: n.p., n.d. The Pearl. Valencia High School, 29
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