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Greed In The Novella The Pearl And Film The Great Dictator

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Greed can completely change someone’s life and manipulate them into doing absurd actions that can ruin lives, no matter what the result. I believe that greed is a bad thing when it is taken too far, but some people do not agree with me. The novella The Pearl, and the movie speech by Charlie Chaplin, “The Great Dictator” both show how greed is good and bad. Greed is good when a person is determined, but it is a bad thing when it’s excessive and gets to someone’s head. The idea of wanting more is great, but it becomes a problem when it’s taken too far.

In The Pearl, greed consumed Kino, and it was as if he couldn’t make decisions for himself, and everything he did was based on his fortune, the pearl. For example, when Kino went to the pearl buyers to sell the pearl they offered him fifteen hundred dollars. Kino refused this offer even though it was a lot of money and would’ve benefited him, he wanted more than that. Kino’s mind was corrupted with the idea of wealth and living a luxurious life, which was the opposite of what he was living now. This mindset resulted in him giving up the money because he felt that he needed more. On page 52, Kino says, “My pearl is not for sale here.”. Any other pauper in Kino’s situation would’ve gladly taken the money, but the idea of living like the rich corrupted his mind. He was hung up on achieving a future of wealth that only the pearl could make possible. Kino was also putting the pearl before his family’s well-being. One night, Juana decided that the pearl was evil, and she didn’t want it to cause any more trouble to them and destroy her family. She snuck out of the house one night and attempts to throw the pearl into the shore, but Kino followed her and stopped her. He grabbed the pearl from her, while punching her in the face and kicking her in her side. Kino heads home but on the way he gets jumped by two men, he kills one of them so he could survive. Kino says, “No one shall take our good fortune from us.”. Kino’s obsession and greediness caused him to go against his family and beat up Juana, and also commit murder.

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In the movie speech by Charlie Chaplin, “The Great Dictator”, the quote, “Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.” shows how an excessive amount of greed can become a bad thing. It shows this since, it is portraying how once greed comes into your life it’s hard to escape it. Greed can make you not think of anything else and only on one thing whether it’s money, or a valuable object, greed will make you put these things before your loved ones. In “The Great Dictator”, it also shows how greed has overcome the hospitality and kindness of humans, it explains how all the kindness disappeared and is replaced with misery and greed. Another quote is, “We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities life will be violent and all will be lost.”. This quote explains how we need to show kindness to one another and that we should value each other more than any object. Greed can make value objects more important than your family and friends, and that object is the only thing that you think about.

I may believe that greed is evil, but another perspective that exists is that greed is not always a bad thing. People believe that greed is good when you are determined to get something done. Also, that it is good to want more but now when it is taken advantage of and it gets excessive. A quote from The Pearl that supports that greed is good is, “..whereas…it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have.”. This quote shows that greed is one of the greatest talents because, it is a good thing to want more and to try to do better for yourself. It also explains how greed is not a bad thing when you are motivated and determined to get something done. Greed only becomes a bad thing when it is excessive and gets too someone’s head. Some people also believe that people are not born with a bad greedy mindset and that it is developed . For example, in The Pearl, Kino was very simple and was happy with what he had, his son Coyotito and his wife Juana. When Kino discovered the pearl he thought that it would add onto the happiness already present in his life, but it was the opposite of what he imagined. A quote that from “The Great Dictator” that portrays this is, “We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We want to love by each other’s happiness, not by each others misery.”.

In conclusion, greed is a very manipulative and awful thing to get stuck with, and once you are greedy, it’s hard to escape it. Overall, greed is not a good thing, and it can make you do things that can have a poor long lasting effect on your life. In The Pearl, it took Coyotito’s death for Kino to realize how greedy he was and how evil the pearl really is.

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