In the context of John Steinbeck's The Pearl, there is a great divide in class. For instance, the doctor that Kino seeks for his child is of a race that
had beaten and starved and robbed and despised Kino's race, and frightened it too, so that the indigene came humbly to the door.
Likewise, the pearl buyers are not of Kino's race. Therefore, they do not care how they treat Kino; in fact, they believe that they have a right to cheat him because he is ignorant of how they judge the quality of pearls. Indeed, they are reluctant to be fair with Kino.
When they do not offer Kino the true value of his pearl, he brings it home. There the neighbors discuss what has occurred:
"Those dealers did not discuss these things. Each of the three knew the pearl was valueless."
"But suppose they had arranged it before?"
"If that is so, then all of us have been cheated all of our lives."
Whatever has happened, Kino recognizes that he has "lost his old world and he must clamber on to a new one." For, he has learned of the corruption of man's heart. He decides to travel to the capital and find a dealer there so that he can realize his dream of the future. Hopefully, in the capital Kino can be offered a fair price.