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The Pearl - John Stienbeck

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The Pearl - John Stienbeck - Page Text Content

BC: The End

FC: The Pearl John Steinbeck

1: Ashley Gay | 2nd hour

2: Setting The setting seemed unclear, but mostly likely all this took place during the nineteenth century around the coast of Spain and the Pacific Ocean. It took place in a smallish town with a sandy place much like a desert with a forest like place close by where Kino lives with his village.

3: The coast around Spain.

4: Character Annalysis Kino He is a simple character and was motivated by his love for his family, loyalty to the traditions of his village and his people, and frustration at his people's oppression at the hands of their European colonizers. Kino has possessed a quick mind and a strong work ethnic. At the beginning he was content with his life, but two seemingly chance occurrences open Kino's eyes to a larger world. HIs simple existence becomes complicated by greed, conflict, and violence.

5: Juana As Kino's wife she is more practical than Kino. She is loyal and submissive, obeying her husband, but she doesn't always agree with his actions. Like Kino, Juana is at first sucked in by greed the pearl attracts, but she is much quicker to realize the real truth about what is going on than Kino. Basically, she comes to view that the pearl is a symbol of pure evil.

6: The Doctor He represents the main attitudes that oppress Kino's people. The doctor symbolizes the colonists' arrogance, greed, and ignorance toward the natives. He has come only to make money, and his greed distorts his human values. When he was first introduced, John Steinbeck gave him the image to everybody that he is a lazy, greedy guy who doesn't respect the natives. Basically he is the enemy trying to ste4al the pearl and use it for himself. Once again, another example of his greed.

8: Chapter 1 Summary The story begins with introducing the main characters; Kino, Juana, and Coyotito. The atmosphere around them seems to be a very low or not very up to date kind of life style. They live kind of like Indians. Their lifestyle has them living in small, but decent looking stick houses or huts. Their village is very superstitious. They all live together depending on each other as a village. They aren't the only civilization there, though. Next to their little village is a city. This is where all the high-class people live that actually have the money to afford things that the others can't. This is where another character lives; the doctor. He isn't the best person in the world and not my favorite character. As the story continues a scorpion falls on Coyotito and stings him. Therefore, causing the doctor to come in, but no one in the village believed that the doctor would come out to save a lower-class boy's life. So Kino and the rest of the village decided since he won't come to them, they will go to him.

10: Chapter 2 Summary They walked a little ways into the city, but their direction was distracted by how all the city folk were acting. They acted as if strangers were coming in for something bad. Basically, they acted plain rude, even though they never said a word to them. Their thoughts were mainly expressed by the way they looked at them. Ignoring their rude thoughts, the village continued on towards the doctor's house. When they arrived the doctor gave them a bad excuse that he was helping an elderly women, when he was really eating, all because he didn't want to help the lower-class. This made the village become angry. They walked back to their village and continued with their daily routines. Quickly, they thought of an idea that maybe finding a pearl would help them get a little money so they could pay the doctor to come and cure their baby. Searching the bottom of the ocean, Kino gathered a few clams hoping one of them would be good enough

11: to pay for a cure. He climbed back in his little canoe with Juana and Coyotito. Opening one by one the clams and having no luck. He saved a big clam for last thinking that would be the one. After opening it, he was right. That was the pearl that was certain that he needed. This seemed to think that everything was going to get better.

12: Chapter 3 Summary Returning home, he already figured out that the city and village knew about him finding the pearl. People started gathering around his hut amazed at the pearl's size. Soon enough. word spread and the doctor found out. Quickly, he made his way to Kino's hut offering to cure Coyotito. Also, the priest came down to offer to get Kino and Juana officially married. The doctor supposedly diagnosed, he told them that he found evidence of complications and gave Coyotito a capsule of medication that he continues to administer. He calmed that the poison would strike within the hour and that the medicine would maybe prove lifesaving. Juana and Kino seemed worried ,but they were also very superstitious about the doctor's accusations on the treatment. After some thought, Kino began to wonder about

13: the pearl's safety. Quickly, when everyone was out of sight, he wrapped the pearl in a rag, dug a hole, and buried the pearl in the hole hoping no one would find it. Having ignorance about the pearl. the doctor offers to keep it in his safe, but Kino said no to the offer, explaining that he intends to sell the pearl in the morning. THe doctor tries to convince a lot of worries about the pearl, and Kino glances with fear at the corner where the pearl is buried. That night while Kino and the rest of his family went to sleep, he began o dream of how his life would be fro now on. At first, Kino dreams of Coyotito's future success, but the evil returns and quickly overtakes him. He moves around restlessly, waking Juana. He ends up waking up and hears an intruder in the house, cowering and scratching in the corner, clearly in search of the pearl. He grabbed his knife and leaps into the corner struggling with the intruder, stabbing him wildly. After a violet fight, the intruder flees, leaving Kino bloodied and

14: scratched up. Because his pearl is worth so much money, Kino believes it offers him a chance to realize his dreams. But all the thought about all this money is going to his head making his ignorance as to whether he is making the right choices. Kino even refers to the intruder as 'the thing,' as thought he were a plague sent against Kino rather than another human being. At this point in the story, however, only Juana seems to recognize that the pearl is an evil instrument that will bring her family pain and heartache.

16: Chapter 4 Summaries Word spreads throughout the town of La Paz that Kino will be selling his great pearl. The pearl buyers are especially excited, and the pearl fishers ;eave their work for the day to watch what happens. That morning Kino, Juana, and Coyotito wear their best clothes for the occasion, and Kino wears his hat with care, anxious to appear as a more serious, and vigorous man of the world. As they all head off to the city Kino's brother, Juan Tomas tells Kino his concern that he may be cheated, since he has no standard of true comparison to know what his pearl is worth. Juan also tells another system of pearl-selling used to exist before Kino was born. Pearlers would give their pearls to agents for sale in the capital, but as a result of the rampant corruption of pear agents who stole the pearls meant for sale, the old system is no longer in place. Kino then points out

17: that according to the church as it represents a vain effort on the part of the pearlers to leave their station in life. As they were introduced to one of the pearls, he explains after a careful explanation that the pearl is worthless because of its abnormally large size. Declaring it more of a museum curiousity than a market commodity, the dealer makes an offhand bid of one thousand pesos. Kino gets anger about this lowball offer and insists that the pearl is worth fifty times as much. The dealer asserts that this is an accurate appraisal and invites Kino to seek out a second opinion, but the other dealers who gathered made their offers around the first sumption. Upon hearing the news, Kino quickly removes the pearl, but the first pearl buyer insists that the offer still stands at a thousand pesos. That night Kino stayed awake protecting the pearl,

18: but he senses a evil presence. He moves to the doorway feeling for his knife under his shirt. From the darkness, a man assaults Kino, but the attacker ends up running away. Bloodied and Cut like before with his clothes torn, Kino lies on the ground, only half conscious. After another attack, Kino insists that they must leave for the capital immediately. But Juana pleaded and begged that he discard the pearl saying that it has caused evil to develop around them and it would only get worse the longer they keep it, but Kino disagreed and wanted to help make their future better or so he though it would be.

20: Chapter 5 Summary Juana quietly gathers the pearl, and sneaks out into the night, but Kino stealthily follows her as she heads toward the shore. When she hears him, she breaks into a run, but Kino apprehends her just as she is preparing to throw the pearl into the water. Grabbing the pearl from her, he punches her in the face and kicks her in the side when she falls down. As Kino makes his way up the beach, a group of men attack him. Kino struggles violently as they punch and kick at him. As Kino drives his knife into one of his attackers, the men knock the pearl from his grasp. Meanwhile, Juana gets up and begins to make her way home. Climbing through the brush, she sees the pearl lying in the path. She picks it up and considers returning to the sea to discard the pearl once and for all. Juana realizes that Kino has killed a man, and drags the dead body to hide it, then goes to aid Kino. He begins to

21: worry about where the pearl was, but Juana shows him that she has it. Because Kino has committed a horrible crime, he protests that he acted in self-defense, but Juana argues that his alibi won't matter at all to the authorities. Kino realizes that she is right, and they resolve to flee. Juana runs to grab Coyotito, Kino finds that someone has punched a large hole in his canoe. He quickly runs back to his brush house, but notices that his house is on fire. Juana meets him with Coyotito in her arms and confirms that their house is completely gone. As the neighbors rush to the fire, Kino and his family ducked into Juan Tomas's house. Kino and Juana only listen as Juan Tomas's wife, Apolonia wails for the loss of her relatives. When she returns to her house, Kino whispers to her, explaining that they are taking refuge. Kino instructs Apolonia to bring Juan Tomas to them and to keep their whereabouts a secret. Juan Tomas arrives moments later.

22: Kino explains that he killed a man. Juan then blames this misfortune on the pearl and advises Kino to sell it. Kino is more focused on his loses, though. He implores Juan to hide them in his house, until they can make a second attempt to flee. Juan Tomas agrees to shelter them and keep silent about their plans. That afternoon, most of the neighbors assume that Kino and Juana are dead, but Juan Tomas suggest that perhaps the family has fled to the south to escape persecution. He returns to his house from time to time bringing bits and pieces of provisions that will help Kino and Juana on their journey. That evening, Kino tells Juan Tomas his plan to travel to the cities of the north. Juan Tomas advises him to avoid the coast and asks if Kino still has the pearl. Kino responds that he does and will hold on to it. Before the moon arose, Kino and his family said their goodbyes and left for the north.

24: Chapter 6 Summary Outside of town, they follow a road, carefully walking in a wheel rut to conceal their tracks. They walk all night and make camp in a roadside shelter at sunrise. After eating a small breakfast, Juana rests until midday. When Juana rises, she asks Kino if he thinks they will be pursued. Juana begins to doubt Kino's conviction that the pearl is worth far more than the dealers offered. Kion stares at the pearl to read his future. He lies to Juana, telling her that he sees a rifle, a marriage in a church, and an education for Coyotito. In truth Kino sees a body bleeding on the ground, Juana making her way home through the night after being beaten, and Coyotito's face swollen as though he were sick. While Kino sleeps soundly, Juana is reastless. Kino wakes from a dream and demands that they keep quiet. He spots a trio of trackers pursuing their trail. He watches them and prepares to spring on them with his knife. Juana hears the

25: approaching trackers and does her best to quiet Coyotito. For a moment, it appears that they are poised to apprehend Coyotito and Juana, they lose their lead and move on. Suddenly, Kino feels their cause to be hopeless and loses his will to flee. He suggests they might lose the trackers up in the mountains. As they climb, Kino realizes the distance offers only a temporary fix to their problem. When Juana takes a rest wit Coyotito, Kino proposes that she hide. But, Juana refuses to split up, so the family moves on together. As the sun begins to set, Kino and Juana reach a nearby cleft and replenish their water supply at a pool and stream. Kinbo spies the trackers at a distance below, hurrying up the slope. He descends again to take refuge with Juana and Coyotito in a nearby cave. Kino hoipes that the trackers will climb past them, providing a chance down the hill and out of their range. Kino intructs Juana to keep Coyotito quiet,

26: and they lie silently in the cave as twilight settles over the land. By evening, the trackers arrive at the pool. In the save, Coyotito grows restless, and Juana quiets him. Juana fears for Kino's life, but Kino explains that they have no other choice. He instructs her to run to the nearest town. Kino slowly moves down the slope toward the pool. He crouches behind a palm tree to ponder his next move. Waiting for a moment when the watchman's head is turned, Kino gets ready to take a much riskier approach. Suddenly, Coyotito lets out a cry that wakes one of the sleeping trackers. They wonder if it is simply the cry of a coyote. The watchman decides to shoot in the direction of the cry. The bullet hits and kills Coyotito. Kino springs upon the trackers, stabbing the watchman and seizing the rifle. The man makes little progress before Kino stops him with a first shot, and then murders him.Kino notices the blood-

27: curdling cry issuing form his wife. Later the next day, Kino and Juana march all the way to the sea. Kino stops and pulls the pearl form his pocket. He stares into it carefully, and a flood of evil memories washes over him. Kino flings it out into the ocean and they both stare at the spot quietly as the sun sets.

28: Theme of the Story 'Greed is like a disease. It spreads until it takes over everything and you can only fix it by taking the problem away.'

29: In my opinion, John Steinbeck was a very well-written author, but to me he took too much consideration in detail. He is still a good author, though. He has been educated at Stanford University, but didn't complete enough to earn his degree before he left. Becoming a journalist in NYC probably started the idea of himself becoming a author.

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  • Title: The Pearl - John Stienbeck
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