How does the theme "knowledge versus ignorance" present itself in the novella "The Pearl" by John Steinbeck?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Consider the priest, the Father, who knows the theology and doctrine of Christianity but does not know how to apply them to real life. Instead of pity and compassion, greed overtakes him, as well as ambition. If he secures a large donation for the Church, he will be viewed with favor in terms of promotion within the clergy. It is all head knowledge, rather than heart knowledge. He knows what to say to present himself as a man of God, yet in reality he is a man of the flesh, of himself. This is reflected in Kino’s lack of acceptance of Christianity. He prays to God or the gods, he states, whichever one “works.” This reflects the failure of the priest to lead a man to salvation.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial