The Pearl John Steinbeck. Setting La Paz, Mexico on the Pacific coast of the Baja Peninsula Sometime around 1900.
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The Pearl John Steinbeck
Setting La Paz, Mexico on the Pacific coast of the Baja Peninsula Sometime around 1900
Characters Kino: (protagonist) He is a hardworking, impoverished pearl diver. Kino has a wife (Juana) and a son (Coyotito). After Kino finds the pearl, he seeks to break free from tradition to provide an education for his son. His ambition destroys his family.
Characters Juana is Kinos wife. Juana is convinced the pearl is destroying her family. She is an independent thinker, however, she is completely loyal to Kino. She follows him towards despair.
Characters Coyotito is Kino and Juanas only son. Early in the novella, he is stung by a scorpion. He is helpless because he is an infant. The pearl brings Coyotito more harm than good.
Characters Juan Tomás is Kinos older brother. He supports Kino, but warns him of the dangers of a poor man possessing the pearl. Later he hides the couple. Apolonia is Juan Tomáss wife. She is sympathetic towards Kino and Juana.
Characters The doctor dreams of leaving the primitive colonial world and returning to the European lifestyle. He refuses to help Coyotito after the scorpion sting. He changes his mind once Kino discovers the pearl. The priest is naturally good, but still, he seeks to exploit the fortune of Kino.
Characters The dealers are well-organized and corrupt. They cheat an entire population out of opportunity. The trackers are corrupt men that follow Kino and Juana after they leave the village.
Themes Greed Kinos desire to provide an education for his son (to better a future generation) drives him to change. A seemingly happy father and husband becomes a murderer for opportunity. In part, this could be driven by the oppression Kino observes from the dealers and the doctor. Kinos greed leads him to behave violently towards his family and detach from his cultural tradition.
Themes Fate Kino is an individual. He works. He loves. He raises his son. He makes choices. Forces beyond human control alter him. (the scorpion, the sea, the discovery of the pearl) These forces change the direction of the characters.
Themes Oppression The novella establishes the social make-up of La Paz. The doctor refuses to help Coyotito because the family has no money. The dealers take advantage of the villagers. This oppression destroys the innocence, piety, and purity of the village.
Symbols the pearl the scorpion Kinos canoe Coyotitos name Kinos song (oral tradition) Kino/Juana/Coyotito (good) The doctor/the dealers/the trackers/Kino? (evil)
Form The Pearl is a parable (a simple story that relays a moral lesson). Frequently, parables are allegories (stories in which characters, objects, and events hold fixed symbolic meaning). Kinos temptation leads him to murder. It is important that he remains unpunished for this crime (by justice system). In the end, he returns the pearl to the sea having learned a lesson. Which is? Is life black and white? Right and wrong? What can be said of colonization? The effects?
The Pearl Choose one symbol from The Pearl and write a clear, organized paragraph (7-9 sentences). You must: include the author (allow him control over his work) include at least one direct quote create a fluid paragraph (make certain you stay on topic and all information is necessary) avoid plot summary
The Pearl Describe the relationship between Kino and Juana throughout the novella. (7-9 sentences) You must: write clearly, confidently, organized (create unity) include at least one direct quote (incorporate quote) avoid plot summary (analyze the characters, their actions, reactions, thinking, understanding, etc.)