The pearl, in a nutshell is a five day account of events in the life of an Indian peal diver, Kino, living in La Paz. The story begins when a scorpion stings Kino’s son, Coyotito as he lies in his cradle. The doctor couldn’t attend to him so his wife, Juana makes a poultice of seaweed for the baby. Kino finds the greatest pearl in the world that becomes a source of his dreams; he imagines getting married now that he can afford to pay for the service. He also dreams of taking his child to school to read and learn how to ‘make numbers’. On the hand, in the story of men and mice; Lennie and George and farm laborers with a big dream of acquiring a farm of their own. But their dream is hampered by external social factors and Lennie’s tendency to get into trouble and his lack of social skills.
The dreams that protagonists have in both stories don’t lead them to them living better lives but they lead them to sacrifice their ideals. For instance, George, in of Mice and Men, due his dream to own a farm and live a good views his friend Lennie as an obstacle: ‘’Jus’ keep me shovin’ all over the country all the time. An’ that ain’t the worst. You get in trouble. You do bad things and I got to get you out.” George eventually kills his friend Lennie. Similarly, Kino’s desire to attain wealth and status through the pearl transforms and consumes him. It leads to a series of conflicts inspired or caused by the pearl. The dream to get wealthy and attain a status flies in the face of Kino and his tribe’s way of life. We are told that he makes a living as a pearl diver and he stays in a brush house, he is being detached from all this values.
Kino’s dream is intruded by others, the people of La Paz in the story for instance the priest reminds Kino not to forget the church with his new found fortune. The doctor is also not left behind, he comes to force is powder down the child’s throat in the hope that Coyotito can get sick so that he can cure him. In the story of men and mice, Lennie and George both have a dream of owning a rabbit and chicken farm. Both of them are hired as farm hands at a ranch, but their dream also affects other in a great way; Lennie crushes the hands of his employer son and breaks a woman’s neck but his altercation with Curley was the worst of them all. Though George had been telling his friend over and over about their dream of owning a farm and feeding rabbits, he shoots Lennie because he can no longer save him.
With the acquisition of the finest pearl Kino dreams to acquire both wealth and status and this triggers an immediate response from the community. The searchers burn his brush house while looking for the pearl and the same trackers also kill his child and Kino kills three of them. The dream that George and Lennie have is what brings them together.To George owning his own farm would give his life great meaning and purpose. It will mean he will become his own boss while to Lennie it will be a chance to keep and feed his rabbits.
Kino’s dream has negative impact on him because of his desire to attain some status and wealth leads to conflicts with his wife, his son is killed in the process while George’s dream is a good one in the sense that it gives him meaning and something to make him wake up every morning. Being a laborer with little education he has to work harder and save to be able to own a farm. To achieve this dream George had to shoo his friend in the back to prevent this ‘cycle’ from repeating itself. Lennie’s lack of social skills and control was proving a hindrance to achieving his dream.