Yet Another The Pearl

Kino, a poor Indian
fisherman, lives on the Gulf of California with his wife Juana
and son Coyotito. Their simple hut is made of brush, and the
couple sleeps on mats thrown on the dirt floor, while
Coyotito sleeps in a hanging box. Like others in their poor
village, they depend on nature for survival. As The Pearl
begins, dawn is breaking. Kino watches the sun rise and
listens to the sounds of the morning. But within moments, a
dangerous situation develops. A poisonous scorpion stings
Coyotito, Kino’s infant son, and the baby’s screams draw
people from all over the village. Juana insists that the doctor
be called, but Kino knows the physician is Spanish and
considers himself above treating poor Indians. This does not
satisfy Juana, who announces that if the doctor will not come
to the village, then they will go to his house. But the doctor
refuses to treat Coyotito because Kino is too poor. Later
that day, while Kino and Juana are fishing in the Gulf, Kino
finds an enormous pearl and cries out in joy. He believes the
pearl will make him rich and enable him to provide security
for his family. But Kino discovers otherwise. The pearl stirs
envy in the villagers, and that night Kino is attacked in his hut
by a thief. The following day, he tries to sell the pearl to
buyers in town, but he is offered only a small amount of
money for it. The buyers all work for the same man. They
know the pearl is worth a fortune but hope to buy it cheaply
by pretending that it is worth little. Kino says he will sell his
pearl in the capital city, where he believes he will get a fair
price. This amazes the villagers because Kino has never
traveled so far. After dark that evening, Kino is attacked
again. Juana is sure the pearl is evil and will destroy the
family. During the night, she quietly removes it from the spot
where Kino has hidden it and tries to throw it back into the
ocean. He stops her before she succeeds and beats her for
trying. As he returns to the hut, Kino is attacked again, this
time by two men. He kills one of them, and the other
escapes. Because of the killing, Kino knows that he will be
hunted as a murderer. As a result, he and Juana must leave
the village the next morning. However, before they can
escape their canoe is destroyed and their hut is burned. They
hide until the next night in the hut of Kino’s brother, Juan
Tomas. The following evening, Kino and Juana begin their
journey to the capital. Soon they realize they are being
followed by three people, so they flee up the mountain and
hide in a small cave. Their followers set camp in a clearing
just below the cave. Kino decides the only way to survive is
for him to kill the person on guard, take his rifle, and kill the
other two, who are sleeping. Kino goes to the followers’
camp and is about to attack them when his son Coyotito
cries out. Kino knows that he must act immediately upon his
enemies, but he is a second too late and one of them shoots
toward the cave. There is a struggle and Kino kills all three
of his enemies. The earlier shot has killed Coyotito. The
following afternoon the villagers witness the return of Kino
and Juana, carrying the rifle and their dead child. Without a
word to anyone, they walk through the village to the shore.

Kino lays down the rifle, takes out the pearl, and throws it
into the sea. It is difficult to get to know the characters in
The Pearl in the same way you might get to know the
characters in other novels. They say very little, and you see
them in few situations. Their actions seem to be based more
on ancient habits than on free choice. Like in one of his other
books that I have reed, Of Mice and Men, the characters
were not developed thoroughly and stood as more of
symbols than actual characters in the story. However, the
strong symbolization made by the pearl is a great asset to the
story. The pearl in the story has a strong allegorical message
to the reader about human greed. Kino becomes a symbol
of the poor but happy man who is destroyed when he
becomes obsessed with his wantings of the material world.

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The pearl that was supposed to bring him happiness and
contentment brings him only death and destruction. At the
end of the, both Kino’s dream and his son are dead.

Category: Book Reports