A Great Moral Lesson in The Pardoner’s Tale And The Pearl

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

“The Pardoner’s Tale” and The Pearl both teach a moral lesson. This lesson is that greed is the root of all evil. But, while both stories have the main theme of greed, they are very different in terms of symbolism and setting.

First, Both “The Pardoner’s Tale” and The Pearl have the main theme of greed or the love of money being the root of all evil. In “The Pardoner’s Tale” the three drunks kill each other off because of their love for the gold they found. As the story draws to a close, the following is said about the three drunks, “Thus these two murderers received their due, So did the treacherous young poisoner too.” They all died because of greed. Likewise, in The Pearl, Kino finds a large pearl, that if sold for its proper price, will allow his family to live a much more comfortable life. But, because of all the other people who want to steal the pearl, it ends up causing only pain. Jaun Tomas, a relative of Kino warns him of this. He says, “There is a devil in this pearl.” He is saying that nothing good will come out of it.

Second, both stories are full of symbolism. In “The Pardoner’s Tale”, one example of symbolism is the old man that tells the three drunks where to find Death. He represents Death. He tells the drunks where to find Death, which are represented by gold coins, another example of symbolism. He knows that he is sending them to their deaths. Also, he seems to be very old and the drunks even say of him, “Why live so long? Isn’t it time to die?” This suggests that he is Death, because he would not kill himself, but kills others. In The Pearl, the pearl itself represents greed. Whenever anyone heard of the pearl in the story, he would try and take it for himself. Kino says about those who want the pearl, “they would not have tried to steal it if it had been valueless.” Because of greed, many would try and take the pearl from Kino.

Third, in both stories setting plays an important role. The setting is, however, very different in each. In “The Pardoner’s Tale” the setting is medieval England during the time of the Black Plague. After the Black Plague kills a mutual friend of the drunks, they swear to find and kill Death. They promise, “If we can only catch him, Death is dead!” The setting makes the story possible. In The Pearl, the setting is a Mexican costal town, possibly on the Baja Peninsula. The time is not certain, but is probably late 1800’s or early 1900’s. The setting is important because during this time in Mexico the native Mexicans were treated very badly by the rich Europeans who had settled there. This is evident in the story when Kino tries to sell his pearl, but can not receive a fair price for it. He says to his wife after trying to sell his pearl, “We will not be cheated.” He had tried to sell it to dealers in the town but none would give him a fair price for the valuable pearl.

“The Pardoner’s Tale” and The Pearl are great examples of interesting stories that also have a great moral lesson. Both stories show how greed can cause lots of pain, death, and heartache, and are also both full of examples of symbolism and have great settings to really make the stories believable.

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