• ESSAY: Analyse the setting of “The Pearl”: Is it of major or minor importance? What effects has it on the characters?
The analysis of the setting of any story poses a question: Is this setting significant to the story? In the case of “The Pearl”, it is decisive as well as constructing due to the fact that it provides us with the perfect background to understand the vital messages the story conveys.
Firstly, concerning place, on the one hand, the Mexican Indian village (La Paz) where the story is set, adequately represents human desires, plans, and motives to form civilization. On the other hand, the time, possibly late nineteenth or early twentieth century, ...view middle of the document...
Apart from that, the descriptions of the sea exemplify the fact that life is a battle for survival from which only the strongest remain alive.
Thirdly, the setting undoubtedly exerts considerably influence on the characters selected, especially the main ones. In the first place, Kino’s belonging to a native tribe, which after the Spanish colonization of Mexico is still subjugated to the Spanish colonial authorities, highlights the forces of colonization and the destructive effect these have on native cultures. As a part of this native tribe, Kino is a simple character, motivated by basic drives, such as his family and loyalty to the traditions of his village. In addition, the disillusionment Kino undergoes with the pearl, underlines the fallacy of the American dream. In the second place, Kino’s wife, Juana, is loyal and submissive, obeying her husband as the culture of that time dictates. Finally, the doctor, who refuses to save Coyotito’s life because Kino lacks money, represents colonial arrogance and oppression common to those times. He is obsessed with European society and European cultural values hovers around his mind so deeply that he does not realise how ignorant he is of Kino and Kino’s people.
In conclusion, if this story is a parable, perhaps everyone takes his own meaning from it. But there is one thing not ambiguous: the fact that the setting plays a pivotal role in “The Pearl”. What if we changed the setting? What if we set this background in another story? All things considered, THIS setting performs a leading part in THIS story.