How is the doctor affected by greed in the novella The Pearl?

Expert Answers
mollymaureen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The doctor’s greed causes him to treat the native Mexican people inhumanely. The doctor has the idea that the town and those around him exist solely for his own profit. He seems to dislike the atmosphere of the town he lives in and is generally ill at ease.

As we read we assume the doctor will work under the same moral compass that our modern day doctors do, i.e. “First do no harm.” So we are surprised when Kino brings his ill child to the doctor’s home and is turned away.

The doctor goes so far as to exclaim that he feels the natives are akin to animals when he tells his servant, "I am a doctor, not a veterinary,” and furthermore instructs the servant to tell Kino and Juana he is not at home.

In fact, until the doctor receives word that Kino has found a large pearl, he has no interest in helping the dying child at all.

Greed continues to impact the actions of the doctor, and his desires to own the pearl inspire him to behave poorly.

See more information about the characters in The Pearl here.