The Pearl

771 Words4 Pages
“Cold and deadly as steel” were the words used to describe Kino at the climax of The Pearl by John Steinbeck (87). However, in the beginning of the story, Kino, the protagonist, is a regular man who is amazingly in touch with nature and his surroundings. John Steinbeck’s The Pearl is a fictional novella. The novella follows the family of a poor diver named Kino. The inciting action happens when Coyotito, the baby, is bitten in the shoulder by a scorpion (5). The family then needs medical attention for Coyotito as well as money to pay for that medical attention. This is where the pearl comes into the family’s life and brings turmoil. In The Pearl, Kino’s experiences turn him from a well-in-tune man, to a protective animal, to a deadly machine,…show more content…
Then, he gradually begins to resemble an animal, or beast. As a man, Kino is very in touch with nature. All sounds of nature, such as beach waves, birds, and even roosters, is like a song to him. “His people had once been great makers of songs” (2). They are so in tune with nature and their surroundings that they do not even need to talk. Steinbeck said speech is not something they need “if it is only a habit anyway” (4). Kino gradually begins to transition from man to animal after he finds the pearl. For the first time, Kino experiences greed and knows how it feels to be rich and be able to have anything. Because he wants to keep that feeling, he became more protective of the pearl and more suspicious of people. Kino hides the pearl in a different, better place after the doctor visits, and Juana says, “Who do you fear?” (36). To this Kino says, “Everyone” (36). Steinbeck also uses animal imagery to demonstrate Kino’s transition from man to animal. For example, after Kino attacks Juana, he “hissed at her like a snake” and bares his teeth (59). Kino’s switch from human-like behavior to animal-like behavior is a major change, and his switch from animal-like behavior to machine-like behavior is major as…show more content…
All three hunters are taken out of Kino and Juana’s path, but this happens at the expense of Coyotito’s life. At the moment the hunters shoot Coyotito, Kino is oblivious to it. After all of the hunters are dead and the silence falls, he hears Juana’s screams and realizes what happened. That was the moment when Kino returned to being a man. One might assume Kino finally realized that Juana was right when she told him earlier that the pearl was bringing their family evil. After releasing the pearl, Kino and Juana stand for a long time watching the beautiful nature in front of them (90). This behavior resembles the appreciation Kino has for nature in the beginning of the story before the pearl comes into his
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