In The Pearl, John Steinbeck does not shy away from showing readers unattractive sides of many of the novella’s supporting characters. Kino and Juana are surrounded by an immoral doctor, a greedy priest, would-be thieves, and jealous neighbors. Do you think that Steinbeck’s depiction of the ugly behavior of these characters rings true? Why or why not? What inspires these characters to behave in such unsavory ways? Can you think of any twenty-first-century situations that might inspire similar behavior in people? Explain the example you provide.
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