ISU Novel Comparison: Zorba the Greek and The Pearl.
The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast two novels, Kazantakis, Zorba the Greek and Steinbeck's, The Pearl. The author uses the protagonist in each novel to discuss the role of power in peoples lives. The two characters are each very similar yet very different because while The Pearl explores the life of a hard working, determined pearl diver, Zorba the Greek follows the life of an easygoing, dynamic personality, who works and lives by his own rules. In order to provide a comparative analysis of the novels, they must be summarized. First, Zorba the Greek is a story about Alexis Zorbas who greatly impacts the life of the narrator, an Englishman, who decided to get away from texts and experience life. He pursues his objective by beginning a new life as a mining operator in Crete. Zorba accompanies the narrator on this trip and in doing so changes his life forever. Secondly, Steinbeck uses the literary form of the parable to explore five momentous days in the life of an Indigenous pearl diver living in La Paz. Upon discovery of the largest and most beautiful pearl the small village had ever seen, the life of Kino and his family is changed forever. A central issue in both works is the conception of power. Power is manifested within the texts in many ways such as religion, economic status and a sharp contrast of different types of characters, some driven by greed while the others driven by compassion. In Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek and in Steinbeck's, The Pearl, the role of power is an essential theme. Through a comparative analysis of both novels, readers see the role of power manifested in different ways. While Zorba harbors power within himself, Kino remains powerless and at the mercy of external influences.
While both men are religious Zorba retains his own beliefs and individuality from God. In contrast, Kino is unable to detach himself from Gods will.