The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines religion as ???a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith, in general people see religion as a deep seated belief in God or any other superstition. In todays Era religion has brought about issues of controversy, they are those who believe in Religion and those who progress negativity towards religion. Likewise in “The Pearl” by John Steinbeck, where the author strives for a negative tone toward religion.
Steinbeck introduces religion in the very beginning of the story in an adverse manner. In the midst of his introduction to the story he brings up the topic of religion stating, ???Kino watched with a detachment of God while a dusty ant frantically tried to escape a sand trap an ant lion had fug up for him???, this statement portrays the idea that God does not care for them. Kino in this situation represents God and the Ants humankind, in doing so say God sees and acknowledges are existence but doesn??™t show concern. A better example would be the time of the scorpion attack, as it stated ???The scorpion moved delicately down the rope toward the box. Under her breath Juana repeated an ancient magic … on top of that she muttered a Hail Mary between clenched teeth.??? Here Juana shows indecision. She displays a blend of two different kinds of faith. She does not know whether to trust her original polytheistic religion or the newly placed monotheistic one. This could succumb to different results, as to proving that the catholic idea of having just one god is absurd.
Another example of negativity towards religion would be the arrival of the priest. Hearing the stories of Kino great findings, the priest visits him, meeting Kino for the first time he states “I hope thou wilt remember to give thanks, my son, to Him who has given thee this treasure, and to pray for guidance in the future.” Though his words seem rather thoughtful and full of selflessness, the fact that he went out of his way proves that men of religion are not exempt from the universal traits of greed and self-interest. An equally important trace of religion in a negative tone would be when Kino spoke of a Sermon his father used to tell He and Juan Tomas.
[“I know,” said Kino. “I have heard our father tell of it. It was a good idea, but it was against religion, and the Father made that very clear. The loss of the pearl was a punishment visited on those who tried to leave their station. And the Father made it clear that each man and woman is like a soldier sent by God to guard some part of the castle of the Universe. And some are in the ramparts and some far deep in the darkness of the walls. But each one must remain faithful to his post and must not go running about, else the castle is in danger from the assaults of Hell.” “I have heard him make that sermon,” said Juan Tomas. “He makes it every year.”]
This leads one to conclude that religion in, La Paz is used as a means of autocracy/oppression.
In the most climatic part of the novel Steinbeck brings forth religion once more at Kino??™s??™ and Juana departure from La Paz. [The head shawl covered the baby, and one end of it came across Juanas nose to protect her from the evil night air. Juan Tomas… “Go with God,” he said…”This pearl has become my soul,” said Kino. “If I give it up I shall lose my soul. Go thou also with God.”] The phrase ???Go with God??? is repeated several times in The Pearl, but yet Kino has admitted that the gods are against his desires to better his life. Thus his journey is prone to failure, making it so that every mention of the remark is a reminder to as much.
As I have proven in the three paragraphs above, ???The Pearl???, By John Steinbeck, has a negative connotation of religion. The book portrays religion in manners such as using Religion as a means to achieve wealth. Portraying God as a detached figure, and creating a setting that gives off the idea that even with faith when one is doomed from starting, there is no changing such a Fate.
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