The Pearl By John Steinbeck Essay

1119 words - 5 pages

Kino, Juana and their infant son Coyotito live in a modest brush house by the sea. One morning, calamity visits their home when Coyotito is bitten by a scorpion. With hopes of protecting their son, Kino and Juana rush him to the doctor's clinic in town. However, when they arrive at the gate, they are turned away because they are poor natives and not paying customers. Later that same morning, Kino and Juana take their family canoe out to the estuary to go diving for pearls. Juana makes a poultice for Coyotito's wound while Kino canvases the sea bottom. Juana's prayers for a large pearl are answered when Kino surfaces with the largest pearl either of them has ever seen. Kino lets out a ...view middle of the document...

A violent struggle ensues, and Kino is left bloodied in his efforts to chase away the criminal. Juana, terribly upset by this turn of events, proposes to abandon the pearl, which she considers an agent of evil. The next morning, Kino and Juana make their way to town in an attempt to sell the pearl. Juan Tomas, Kino's brother, advises Kino to be wary of cheats. Each dealer Kino visits makes an absurdly low bid on the pearl. Kino indignantly refuses to accept their offers, resolving instead to take his pearl to the capital. That evening, as they prepare to leave, Juan Tomas cautions his brother against being overly proud, and Juana reiterates her wish to be rid of the pearl. Kino silences her, explaining that he is a man and will take care of things. In the middle of the night, Juana steals away with the pearl. Kino wakes as she leaves and pursues her, apprehending her only at the shore. Just as she is poised to throw the pearl into the sea, he tackles her, takes the pearl back, and beats her violently, leaving her in a crumpled heap on the beach. As he returns to the brush house, he is confronted by a group of hostile men who try to take the pearl from him. He fights them off, killing one and causing the rest to flee, but loses control of the pearl in the process. As Juana ascends from the shore to the brush house, she finds the pearl lying in the path. Just beyond, she sees Kino on the ground, next to the dead man. He bemoans the loss of the pearl, which she presents to him. He explains that he had no intention to kill, but she insists that he will be labeled a murderer regardless. They resolve to flee at once, and Kino rushes back to the shore to prepare the canoe, while Juana returns home to gather Coyotito and their belongings. Kino arrives at the shore only to find his canoe destroyed by vandals. When he ascends the hill, he sees a fire blazing, and realizes that his house has burned down. Desperate to find refuge, Kino, Juana and Coyotito duck into Juan Tomas's house,...

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