In what sense did Kino become "every man's enemy" in The Pearl?
When someone suddenly has a stroke of good luck, it is easy for those around them to become jealous. When Kino first finds the pearl he believes it is the key to success for his family, especially for little Coyotito. Kino doesn't simply want medical care for his child; he begins to imagine his life differently than he ever has. He wants to be married in the church and desires to send his son to school. The problem is that other people have become jealous; they too want the pearl and the good fortune it could bring.
Steinbeck clues us in on the stirrings of hatred and desire amongst the other characters in the story.
“Every man suddenly became related to Kino's pearl, and Kino's pearl went into the dreams, the speculations, the schemes, the plans, the futures, the wishes, the needs, the lusts, the hungers, of everyone, and only one person stood in the way and that was Kino, so that he became curiously every man's enemy.”
Envy is quick to take control in the town; it spreads roots and grasps hold of anyone who realizes that "the pearl of the world" exists. Suddenly everyone wants what Kino possesses. The only thing standing in the way of that desire is Kino himself.
Steinbeck succinctly compares this envy to the very same venom that is spreading through Coyotito. Envy, it turns out, is a poison that is spreading through the town very much like the scorpion venom rushing through the baby's veins.
“The news stirred up something infinitely black and evil in the town; the black distillate was like the scorpion, or like hunger in the smell of food, or like loneliness when love is withheld. The poison sacs of the town began to manufacture venom, and the town swelled and puffed with the pressure of it.”
Thus, like the venom of the scorpion, jealousy and desire envelop the town, making Kino the target of their hatred and “every man’s enemy.”
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