Two characters, Lennie from Of Mice and Men and Coyotito from The Pearl, are very similar. Lennie is an adult who lives with his caretaker, George, in 1930's California who is "slow" and cannot live or work on his own. "'Oh! I ain't sayin' he's bright. He ain't."' (22). Coyotito is a fragile baby who lives in La Paz, México with his parents, Kino and Juana. Both characters rely on their caretakers to survive because they are unable to care for themselves. Another example of their similarity is the foreshadowing of their tragic deaths. In Of Mice and Men, Candy, a worker on the ranch, has a dog that is very old and causes discomfort to the workers because of its smell. Another worker, Carleson, leads the dog outside to kill him because the dog is very old and sick. The worker shoots him in the back of the head, the same way Lennie is shot after accidentally killing the wife of the boss' son. In The Pearl, Coyotito is stung by a scorpion in the beginning of the novel, and the poison from the scorpion almost kills him. Later in the book, he is shot by the rifle of a tracker when Kino is trying to save his family. These two characters have the same role in both books because they depend on others to survive.
Another pair of characters, Slim and Juan Thomas, are also similar. Both characters are helpful to others and are eager to offer their advice. Juan Thomas, from The Pearl, is Kino's brother. When Kino finds the "pearl of the world", Juan Thomas gives him advice on how he should sell the pearl. He offers his advice to Kino so that he does not sell the pearl for less than it is worth. In comparison, Slim is the jerkline skinner of the ranch, and the workers are always interested to hear his advice. "His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love."(33). The people on the ranch are always intrigued by what Slim has to say, and his advice is almost always taken.
In addition, Kino and George are another pair of characters that share similar roles. In some instances, their decisions force their loved ones to suffer. For example, Kino's family is being tracked by three townspeople and Kino makes the decision to attack them at night. While a tracker is grappling with Kino, a shot from his rifle ricochets of a rock and hits Coyotito, killing him. Similarly, George has to shoot Lennie in the back of the head, because he accidentally killed Curley's wife. This is the alternative of the mob killing Lennie instead. In both of these cases, Kino and George end up, directly or indirectly, being involved the their dependent' s death. Both characters make onerous choices that affect their loved ones and those that they care for. They and their loved ones suffer the consequences of their choices, even when their is no other option.
To conclude, characters in both of John Steinbeck's novels, Of Mice and Men and The Pearl, have similar roles; many characters have a comparative figure in the other book. Each character has a counterpart that shares the same or a similar disposition. It is evident that the author uses correlative characters in his novels.