by John Steinbeck. "In the town they tell the story of the great pearl - how it was found and how it was lost Coyotito read from a great book. "This is what the. "In the town they tell the story of the great pearl- how it was found and how it was lost again. They tell of Kino, the fisherman, and of his wife, Juana, and of the. abromishico.cf PEARL Notes including • Life and Background of the Author • Introduction to the Novel • List of Cha.
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is the theme of John Steinbeck's The Pearl. his characters in his novel The Wayward Bus. () In this anxious state, he finds the Pearl of the World. The Pearl by John Steinbeck "In the town they tell the story of the great pearl - how it by the little fire in the brush hut while Coyotito read from a great book. The Pearl Study Guide – You do NOT have to answer the chapter questions. Throughout the novel, there are various types of animal imagery. What is.
Kino was, the doctor grew stem and judicious at the same time. He remembered the room he had lived in there as a great and luxurious place, and he remembered the hard-faced women who had lived with him as a beautiful and kind girl, although she had been none of these three. The doctor looked past his aged patient and saw himself sitting in a restaurant in Paris and a waiter was just opening a bottle of wine.
The news came early to the beggars in front of the church, and it made them giggle a little with pleasure, for they knew that there is no almsgiver in the world like a poor man who is suddenly lucky.
Kino had found the Pearl of the World. In the town, in little offices, sat the men who bought pearls from the fish- ers. They waited in their chairs until the pearls came in, and then they cackled and fought and shouted and threat- ened until they reached the lowest price the fisherman would stand.
But there was a price below which they dared not go, for it had happened that a fisherman in despair had given his pearls to the church. And when the downloading was over, these downloaders sat alone and their fingers played rest- lessly with the pearls, and they wished they owned the pearls.
For there were not many downloaders really—there was only one, and he kept these agents in separate offices to give a semblance of competition. And each one thought how with some capital he could get a new start. All manner of people grew interested in Kino—people with things to sell and people with favors to ask. The essence of pearl mixed with essence of men and a curious dark residue was pre- cipitated.
Every man suddenly became related to Kino,s pearl, and Kino's pearl went into the dreams, the specula- tions, the schemes, the plans, the futures, the wishes, the needs,. The news stirred up something infinitely black and evil in the town; the black distillate was like the scorpion, or like hunger in the smell of food, or like loneliness when love is withheld. The poi- son sacs of the town began to manufacture venom, and the town swelled and puffed with the pressure of it.
It is made obvious to the Kino that the downloaders had arranged their prices earlier and they were about to cheat off Kino. Then, Kino says he will go to the capitol instead of dealing with these downloaders. I am afraid for you.
No one of the village men had ever gone against the downloaders. No one had "taken on city hall," so-to-speak. It was not Kino's place to try to do better. He was just a lowly village man; that was his station in life. Now, he was trying to improve his station and would have to have a major conflict in order to do so.
Juan Tomas thinks this goes against the laws of nature and that bad things happen when you go against the laws of nature. As I heard it put once, "Little fish don't eat big fish. Again at the end of the chapter, Juana wants to throw away the pearl because it is evil. What evil thing happened? At night when Kino sits awake to protect his pearl, suddenly he senses an evil presence.
He rises and search for the knife and moves toward the doorway. From darkness, a man assaults him and he was bloodied and cut with his clothes torn and lay down half conscious. Without waiting, Juana helps Kino cleans his wounds and begs him in desperation to throw the evil pearl, but Kino insisted. Where did Juana go early in the morning? Early morning, Juana quietly sneaks out to the shore and tries to throw the pearl into the sea. What did Kino do when he figured out where she went?
When he saw Juana with the pearl, he grabs the pearl away from her and punches her in the face and kicks her in the side. With rage and anger, he hisses and left without caring.
What happened to Kino up the beach through the brush line on the path? They attacked him aggressively. Then Kino drives his knife into one of them. What happened to their hut while they were away? As Kino arrives in the neighborhood with anger that someone has punched a large hole in his canoe, he notices flames and realizes that his house is burning down.
Why did they leave the village? Kino heard the music of the pearl in his head and the quiet melody of the family underlay it. When he glazes the pearl, he thinks of having a rifle, but what he saw was only a huddled dark body on the ground with shining blood dripping from its throat. He then thinks of getting married in the church, but it the pearl, he saw Juana with her beaten face crawling home through the night. What happens to Coyotito? The appearance of The Grapes of Wrath was the major publishing event of 1939.
Publishers Weekly listed the novel as the best seller of 1939 and the eighth ranking book of 1940. It was estimated that over half a million copies of the original printing were sold. In addition to several American editions, there have been numerous foreign editions and translations.
The novel later became a highly significant social protest film. Also in 1940, Steinbeck was elected to membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters and won the Pulitzer Prize for having written the best novel of the year, as well as the American Booksellers' award.
He also went to Mexico to film The Forgotten Village, a semidocumentary about introducing medicine into a suspicious community. During 1942, Steinbeck's wife sued for divorce and that same year, the Army Air Force requested a promotional book, Bombs Away, to popularize the flight training program and to allay parental fears about flying.
Steinbeck gave the royalties to the Air Forces Aid Society. Steinbeck's World War II works included the play-novella, The Moon Is Down, for which he was decorated by the king of Norway in recognition of the book's contribution to the liberation effort.
His film scenario Lifeboat is sometimes thought to be his most significant war writing. His human-interest articles, written while he was a special war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune from June to December, 1943, appeared as a collection, Once There Was a War, in 1958. Evidently, Steinbeck had considered writing a novel about the war but in The Wide World of John Steinbeck, Peter Lisca comments that Steinbeck was "too disheartened by what he had seen of the war to prolong the experience in any way and he decided not to publish it.
Steinbeck's last major novel, The Winter of Our Discontent, appeared in 1961 and won high critical acclaim for its author. Of his many works, The Pearl has always been a favorite with readers of all ages.
Steinbeck died in 1969.
First, there is, as was just suggested, the beauty and power of the narrative itself. One need go no further than simply noting the power, the restraint, and the beauty with which Steinbeck narrates this simple story. The entire book rings with authenticity.
As noted above, Steinbeck was thoroughly familiar with his material, and thus the novel, through its narrative and characterization, conveys a sense of the very essence of primitive life with all of its trials and rewards. Second, some critics consider the novel from an ecological point of view. Just before writing this novel, John Steinbeck and his friend Ed Ricketts were exploring the seacoast in terms of the ecological functions of the various organisms that existed there.
It was during this exploration that Steinbeck first heard of the story of the "Pearl of the World," a large pearl which was eventually tossed back into the sea from where it was originally taken. Because of Steinbeck's interest in ecology at the time, some critics have understandably viewed the novel as Steinbeck's statement about the need for the ecology to be left as undisturbed as possible. When one takes a great pearl from its natural setting, then one is destroying a part of the natural order of things, which could result in some type of disaster.
Third, there is the obvious sociological interpretation. In many of his previous novels, Steinbeck was interested in the relationship between the worker and capital. In Dubious Battle and The Grapes of Wrath both show the plight of the working man at the hands of unscrupulous and evil landowners.
Also in this novel, we have a conflict between the simple and naive pearl fishers and the pearl downloaders, who use their position to exploit the powerless natives.
Likewise, there is the doctor and the priest who have shown no particular concern for the dreadful plight of the natives until there is the rumor about the Pearl of the World. Earlier, the doctor had selfishly and callously refused to treat Coyotito's scorpion bite because the child's father, Kino, had no money to pay.
Likewise, the priest had used his church authority to teach the natives that they were to be content with their station in life because it blended with God's concept that everything has its own place in the world. Immediately upon hearing about the pearl, however, the priest begins to think about the repairs in the church that could be attended to with the price of the great pearl. Then, too, there is the obvious level of the parable, or the allegorical or symbolic level of interpretation.
The pearl is a pearl of great price. It represents the vanity of human wishes. With the pearl, Kino can do all the things that he has never dared to do before.
But then, as Steinbeck writes in the introduction: "If this story is a parable, perhaps everyone takes his own meaning from it and reads his own life into it. Yet, Steinbeck reverses this symbol here because his pearl represents evil, and only by casting it away can Kino regain a spiritual sense of well-being.
Philosophically, the novel is concerned with life and death and the meaning of both. During the course of the story, a simple family, through no particular fault, is brought to a tragic end.
Their pearl is supposed to be used to bring their child out of darkness and into the world of light; he will be able to learn to read and write, and he will then be able to help all of the natives.
Instead, the pearl becomes the direct instrument of the child's death. The greatness of this novel is that at any level, or at all of them, it is a beautiful tale told with wonderful precision and perfect simplicity. Juana Kino's wife and faithful partner in eking out a meager living; she is obedient and devoted to her family. Coyotito Coyotito is Kino and Juana's infant son; he is bitten by a scorpion and recovers miraculously only to be later killed by a bullet, a bullet intended for Kino.
Apolonia Juan's fat wife, who has no real significance in the story. The Doctor A thoroughly heartless, self-seeking man whose love of money is displayed when he refuses to help Coyotito because Kino cannot pay him his fee. The Priest The discovery of the pearl is said to "put a thoughtful look in his eyes and a memory of certain repairs necessary to the church. In other words, the main legend begins with the discovery of the pearl and the effects that the discovery has on a young Indian boy.
Steinbeck thus begins his novella by introducing us to the type of life that Kino lived before the discovery of the pearl so as to contrast the effects of the discovery on not only himself but also its effects on his entire family. Then, Chapter Six closes the novel with the end of another day, its focus being three days later with the chastened and saddened Kino and Juana returning to the shores of the Gulf to throw the "evi1" pearl back into the water.
As noted, Steinbeck begins his novel with a simple description of the natural surroundings. It is dawn and the beginning of a new day. Both Kino and his wife arise and go about their usual morning habits.
His wife, Juana, prepares the fire, checks on the baby, Coyotito, and makes their meager breakfast while Kino sits and watches the ocean and remembers one of the ancient songs that come from his culture--the Song of the Family.
It is a song from the old traditions of his race, and as he remembers the song, he takes pleasure in watching his wife go about her chores. He even watches some ants moving hastily about; in general, "it was a morning like other mornings and yet perfect among mornings. After Kino has eaten the simple breakfast that he eats every morning--a hot corncake dipped in sauce--he suddenly becomes aware that a scorpion is slowly descending into the basket where the baby, Coyotito, is lying.
As the scorpion moves down the rope of the hanging crib, Coyotito spots it and is excited by its movement. Juana immediately utters an ancient incantation from far back in her cultural past and also one Hail Mary. Kino inches quietly but steadily towards the scorpion, frightened to move too fast lest he cause the scorpion to sting.
Other ancient songs come to his head--the Song of Evil is foremost in his thoughts. Without warning, the baby makes a sudden move, jarring the scorpion, and it falls into the basket and immediately stings Coyotito.
In an extreme fit of primitive rage, Kino grabs the scorpion and rubs it "to a paste in his hands. By this time the entire Indian village is aware of the situation, and everyone is thoroughly taken aback when Juana tells Kino to go for the doctor.
Never in the memory of any of the Indians has the doctor ever come to attend any of them. The doctor will not come, and so Juana suddenly decides to take the dying child into town to the doctor. The entire village follows her. Along the way, others from the poorer section follow to see what will happen; even the beggars from in front of the church join in the procession because it is the beggars who best know the doctor.
They knew his ignorance, his cruelty, his avarice, his appetites, his sins. They knew his clumsy abortions and the little brown pennies he gave sparingly for alms.
This doctor was of a race which for nearly four hundred years had beaten and starved and robbed and despised Kino's race. The doctor is a contrast to all the others: he is dressed in opulence and is lying in bed, sipping chocolate and dreaming of a past time when he lived in Paris. Upon hearing about Kino's request, he immediately sends the servant down to see if Kino can pay.
Kino gives the servant his entire savings--a few "misshapen seed pearls, as ugly and gray as little ulcers.
The pearl. John Steinbeck.PDF
For example, from the very beginning, there is some type of musical theme or composition running through Kino's mind. When he awakens, there is the Song of the Family. It is a song of security, warmth, and love. The novella opens on this song and it will later be replaced in the last chapters by the Song of Evil. The introduction of this basic song motif emphasizes the primitive reactions of these characters to life and to their surroundings. When Kino hears Juana sing her morning song, he feels the warmth of her love and security: "Sometimes it rose to an aching chord that caught the throat, saying this is safety, this is warmth, this is the whole.
The appearance of the scorpion threatens the security and safety of the family as a unit, and thus the Song of Evil prepares us for all the other evil that appears to destroy the family.
The scorpion with its poisonous sting is a foreshadowing of the human evil which will attack the family later. There are several techniques of a basic nature used to suggest the fundamental quality of the family. In the beginning, Kino awakens in darkness, and the light gradually appears. Thus, the novella will move in terms of various shades of light and dark.
Steinbeck intentionally chooses the most basic symbol because he is dealing with the most basic and primitive emotions. Note that now there are various mentions of light inside the house and the suggestions of the darkness outside which reemphasize the Song of the Family. Gradually, then, the darkness on the outside diminishes as Kino prepares to enter the world to undertake the support of his family.
The mixture of the old and the new is seen by the fact that Juana prays for her stricken child by uttering an incantation of ancient magic and then she says a Hail Mary. Consequently, the new has not completely eradicated the old. Steinbeck provides descriptions of the village and of the town, both inside and outside the dwellings.
These descriptions reiterate the contrast between the old and the new worlds, and they suggest that these two worlds can never blend into one unified group.
Thus, later the natives are suspicious of the pearl downloaders because the downloaders represent the new world and are not to be trusted.
Diamond in the Rough: Steinbeck's Multifaceted PearI
Physically, this contrast is illustrated by the dividing line between the city and the brush town. When Juana is taking her child to the doctor, they come to a distinct place which is a dividing line: the city becomes a massive block of cold stone and plaster, as opposed to the more flexible brush and dirt houses of the natives.
As an example of the city's buildings, Kino's hut is compared to the doctor's house. Thus, the physical structure blocks the natives from any direct communication with the town people; the town dwellers seem themselves like caged birds, in contrast to the natives who live so close to nature.
Steinbeck's social comment is seen in the confrontation between the two races. Immediately, Kino thinks of the doctor as an enemy.
The doctor is a member of the race who "for nearly four hundred years had beaten and starved and robbed and despised Kino's race, and frightened it. Whereas Kino and his race represent the natural, the descriptions of the doctor suggest that he represents everything that is not natural. All of the natural world has been bred out of him, and he is totally separated from all natural emotions. Therefore, since Kino cannot pay for his child's treatment, the doctor feels no touch of humanity toward the poverty-stricken young family.
With his red silk dressing gown and his silver cups and his delicate eggshell china, he is completely opposite to the strong and masculine Kino. Steinbeck uses the other members of the community in much the way that the Chorus is used in Greek drama. Classical Greek tragedies included a group of actors called the Chorus, whose functions, among others, included informing the audience of the climate of opinion that prevailed among the common people, making philosophic and general comments on the main action of the play as it unfolded and predicting doom or catastrophe for the protagonists.
Kino's neighbors serve a similar function throughout the novella. Along the shore, the graceful old canoes are silent, but the Gulf itself is teeming with sea life of various kinds: brown algae floats upward and supports little sea horses while poisonous fish lie "on the bottom in the eel-grass beds," and bright swimming crabs and many other varieties of sea life contend with each other in the battle of survival.
Into this alien world come Kino and Juana. This morning, they are far behind the others because of the attention required by Coyotito. Kino's canoe, which is "at once property and a source of food," has been in his family for two generations.
The irony here is, of course, that the canoe represents a continuation of the family tradition, since it belonged first to Kino's father and before that to his grandfather, and yet at the end of the story, Kino will have neither a child nor a canoe to pass on to another generation.
Juana gathers some brown seaweed and makes a "flat damp poultice," which she applies to Coyotito's swollen shoulder. Note that Steinbeck says that this primitive treatment was as good a remedy as any other, or probably better than any remedy that the doctor in town could give.
This should be remembered, for in the next chapter the doctor does administer something to Coyotito and it makes him very ill--until the doctor returns and gives him something else to counteract the first dose. The oyster bed where Kino dives is the same bed which once furnished enough pearls to make the king of Spain rich enough to become a great power in Europe.
Steinbeck then explains how a pearl is formed. Ironically, out of the pain of the oyster, there emerges one of nature's beautiful objects--the pearl. As Kino begins to dive, he remembers that his people have sung a song for almost every occasion in the world.
As he collects oysters, he suddenly spots one that is larger than all the others, lying in a very isolated spot. Through a glimpse of light, he thinks that he spots a large pearl inside.
He quickly pulls the oyster away and surfaces to the boat where Juana can sense an air of excitement as Kino climbs into the boat. Kino, however, does not want to open the big oyster yet--one must "be very tactful with God or the gods. It is as large as a sea gull's egg, as perfect as the moon and as refined as if it were made of silver incandescence.
The Pearl Worksheets and Literature Unit
After Juana approaches to look at the pearl, she instinctively goes to Coyotito and discovers that the swelling in the baby's shoulder has disappeared. Kino, out of joy over the pearl and because of his joy over Coyotito's recovery, lets out a howl so loud that the rest of the pearl divers race to his boat. It is a cinematic technique--that is, the author eventually focuses in on the canoe on the beach.
The canoes become representative of the continuance of the primitive family, since each family has a canoe that has been a part of the family for generations. The factual descriptions of the beach include the brown algae and the various flora and fauna. The hazy mirage over the beach provides the author with a starting point for a digression on the imagination, a new way of viewing the Gulf.
All these things seem unreal and have the vagueness of a dream, suggesting that these primitive people trust things of the imagination and of the spirit. This is, in some ways, a description of Kino's mind because before he opens the pearl, he has visions and dreams of what he is going to do with the money that he will receive.
Kino's primitive imagination allows him to respond to the wonders of the pearl before he actually opens the oyster. Steinbeck sometimes offers a digressive element from the actual story, and usually these are indicative of Steinbeck's attitude toward some aspect of the story. They are often slanted against the church or society or, as in this chapter, they provide a bit of factual information about how the oyster forms a pearl.
Immediately before finding the pearl, there is the introduction of another song, the Song of the Pearl That Might Be.
All of Kino's hopes are centered on finding the pearl so that his son, Coyotito, can receive proper medical treatment now, and later Coyotito can receive a good education in the style of the conquerors.
When they find the pearl, both Juana and Kino exercise great tact in not angering the gods by showing their eagerness to open the big oyster. The reader is to understand this as primitive superstition. Since the pearl is to be the means whereby Coyotito will receive an education, it is ironic that the superstition is important here.
In addition to the concept of superstition, the delay may also be seen merely as a device for arousing suspense. Note the descriptions of the pearl. It is first described as "the great pearl, perfect as the moon. In the hands of Kino, the simple and primitive man, the pearl is a force for great good, but when the pearl becomes known to the more civilized world, it will then become a force for evil.
Both of the first two chapters end with the mention of Kino's wounded hand, a hand which will influence his actions throughout the rest of the novella. The goodness of the pearl is represented by the fact that young Coyotito's wound has disappeared. In the "Introduction" section, it was noted that one interpretation for this novel is an ecological interpretation, one in which we observe that every part of a complex pattern is related to every other part.
As noted elsewhere, Steinbeck had previously made a study of the ecological relations of the living organisms in the Gulf of lower California.
In his work The Sea Of Cortez, Steinbeck writes about the activities of schools of fish as an organized group: The schools swam, marshalled and patrolled. They turned and dived as a unit.
In their millions they followed a pattern minute as to direction and depth and speed. There must be some fallacy in our thinking of these fish as individuals. Their functions in the school are in some as yet unknown way as controlled as though the school were one unit.
At the beginning of Chapter III, Steinbeck also writes that the "town is a thing like a colonial animal. He then offers the response of the various members of the town: the priest remembers certain repairs on the church that are needed; the doctor announces that Coyotito is a patient of his; the beggars remember that a poor man suddenly invested with a fortune is a generous man; the pearl downloaders long to get their hands on this great pearl so they can escape from their positions and make a new start.
The Pearl eBook
Steinbeck's sociological views are offered when he writes that the individual pearl downloaders are all subservient to one downloader, and that each downloader is another "arm" representing the key pearl downloader. As the news of the great pearl spreads, one man suddenly becomes every man's enemy, and that man is Kino, who owns the pearl. The pearl stirs up "something infinitely black and evil in the town.
His first thoughts are to be married in the church, to download a new harpoon and a rifle, and then, the greatest of all visions-Kino's son, Coyotito, will be able to go to school and learn how to read and write; thus, Coyotito will be able to help free his people from the walls of ignorance and illiteracy which have kept them imprisoned for so long.
The priest pays Kino and Juana a visit, and he reminds Kino to give thanks for the pearl. But the music of the Song of Evil and the music of the Song of the Enemy almost drown out the priest's words because he quotes things from the books that Kino cannot know until Coyotito learns to read. Next, the doctor and his servant arrive. Even though Kino knows that Coyotito is now completely well, the doctor is able to use superstition to frighten Kino into letting him attend the child by suggesting many different evil ways that the poison of the scorpion can work against Coyotito.
Kino cannot take a chance. He cannot pit his "certain ignorance against this man's possible knowledge. It is obvious even to Kino that the doctor has given the baby something to make him sick, but again his ignorance is too great to combat the doctor's tricks. Soon Coyotito becomes flushed, spasms begin, and he becomes very sick.
For his wife's sake, Kino says that the doctor was right, but in his heart, Kino is suspicious of the doctor, for he keeps remembering the white powder which the doctor gave his son. After an hour, the doctor returns, gives the baby another kind of medicine, and the spasms subside.
The doctor wonders when he will be paid, and it is then that Kino tells him that tomorrow he will sell a beautiful pearl. The doctor is surprised and offers to keep the pearl in a safe place for Kino. When Kino refuses, the doctor taunts him, knowing that Kino will reveal the hiding place of the pearl by a quick secret glance toward the pearl, which is exactly what happens.
The doctor leaves, knowing where the pearl is buried. At bedtime, Kino hides the pearl under his mat on the earthen floor. His dreams of Coyotito's reading great books, however, are suddenly interrupted by the presence of someone else in the hut.
Pulling his knife, Kino strikes out at the figure, and in one blow he feels his knife draw blood, but at the same time he himself is struck a powerful blow on the head. Juana lights their only candle and swabs the blood from Kino's head. Juana then senses the evil of the pearl, and she pleads, "This pearl is like a sin!
It will destroy us. Let us throw it back into the sea. For that reason, after a horrible night, the new day promises only hope.
As noted elsewhere, the symbolic value of the pearl is beginning to take on various meanings, as a symbolic pearl has throughout all of Western literature. In biblical literature, a pearl of great price is something that is bought at great sacrifice, and it brings the kingdom of heaven.
Kino also thinks of the pearl as bringing all types of rewards to him, but instead, it will function only to destroy everything that he previously held valuable. The concept of the pearl as something of great value is often found in medieval literature, and in American literature, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the name Pearl to suggest that Hester Prynne bought her daughter at the great price of her own reputation.
Throughout this chapter, we are made aware of the chorus of villagers who function to express the various reactions to the great pearl. We see first Kino's reactions to the pearl, and then we see how the villagers react to it. The difference between the two reactions is that there exists a vast gulf between Kino's simple optimistic expectations and the prophecies of doom as expressed by the villagers.
In addition to the general reactions evoked by the discovery of the pearl, Steinbeck gives the various individual reactions.
First, the priest wonders if Kino will contribute to the church. The doctor thinks of his past life in Paris and what he could do now with the money. The beggars remember that a man made newly rich is often generous and that they may receive alms from Kino. Each of the pearl downloaders thinks of the pearl and wishes that he could get it in order to make a new start in life. As the pearl thus becomes the "property" of everyone, everyone begins to turn against Kino.
He becomes "every man's enemy," and the evil caused by the reports of the pearl is like the scorpion which bit little Coyotito. After giving the town's reaction, Steinbeck then turns his attention to Kino and his plans for the pearl.There is at least one notable characteristic of Steinbeck's writing on which otherwise conflicting critics agree: he is a man in whom the faculty of pity is strong and close to the surface.
The world was awake now, and Kino arose and went into his brush house. Juana is much more efficient as she takes control, and to the astonishment of the entire village, she announces that she wants a doctor for the baby-a thing unheard of because the doctor has never visited the peasant village.
She went through the line of brush when the moon was covered, and when it looked through she saw the glimmer of the great pearl in the path behind the rock. Kino followed her. She refuses, telling Kino that he should be the one.