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The Pearl Study Flashcards


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What is the purpose of the introduction of THE PEARL?
-informs the reader that The Pearl is an old, often repeated story, changing with each teller.
-each lishtener must draw its own meaning
-story is a parable
-only good and bad; black and white; with no distinctions in between
What significance does repetition have in the lives of Kino and Juana?
-Lives follow pattern of ancestors
-Juana always awakens before Kino, fans the fire, and prepares the same breakfast
-Kino always knows exactly what Juana is doing, even without watching.
-Juana goes about her tasks, humming the same ancient song of her ancestors
-Kino is content with this routine; it makes him feel safe
Describe the song Kino hears in his head.
-Song of Family - clear and soft
-Song of Evil - music of the enemy, song of a savage; dangerous, secret song
Describe Kino's reactions to the scorpion.
-Both notice at the same time
-Kino hears the Song of Evil for the first time --> carefully tries to knock the scorpion from its perch, but misses--> scorpion lights on Coyotito and stings him --> Savagely, Kino crushes the scorpion, grinding it into the earth
Describe Juana's reactions to the scorpion.
-Soft answer to the dilemna
-Mixes ancient magic with her prayers as she springs into action, sucking poison from the wound
-Kino watches her helplessly, wondering at her strength
Describe the doctor's reaction to Kino's request.
-Doctor refuses to treat the baby, citing "another serious case," as his excues
-Kino knows that the doctor treats only those who can pay.
How is La Paz's air described?
-Air is hazy, sun beats down
-Haze magnifies some things and blots out others.
-Makes the land and sea dream-like
What is Kino's valuable possession and why?
-Passed down from three generations; gift from his grandfather to his father, and then a gift from his father to him
-Property, source of food, tradition
What new songs does Kino hear while searching for a pearl?
-Song of the Undersea - mixture of all the songs of his people
- Song of the Pearl that Might Be" - since there is a chance that one of the oysters might contain a pearl
Describe Kino's reactions to the oyster.
-Kino opens a small oyster first. He is reluctant to open the large one, fearing what he saw [the glimmer of the pearl] was an illusion.
Describe Juana's reactions to the oyster.
Juana senses Kino's excitement as he surfaces. She pretends to look away for she knows it is not good to want something too much.
How is the town described? How does it react to Kino's news?
-Town is like a colonial animal. It has a nervous system and a head and shoulders and feet.
-News of The Pearl of the World spreads through fast through the "nervous system"
-Everyone is interested in sharing Kino's wealth
How are Kino and Juana ignorant about the effect of their discover?
Unaware of the potential for evil in great wealth, they naively assume that everyone will view their good fortune with great joy.
What songs does Kino hear in after he finds the pearl? When does he hear them?
-Song of the Pearl merged with the Song of Evil
-Hears the Song of the Pearl when he daydreams about his future life.
-Song of Evil is heard when he meets the priest
-Song of Family is heard when the doctor comes
What does Kino see in the pearl?
-Sees Coyotito in school, dressed luxurily
What does the description of the scene of the theif and Kino suggest?
Steinbeck only describes the theif indirectly. The most vivid description is of Kino's sensations during the attack. It is almost as if Kino is being stalked by a wild animal. He resonds in kind. Like an angry cat, Kino, too, stalks.
Contrast Kino's and Juana's reactions to the pearl at the end of the chapter.
Juana- convinced that the pearl is evil; it will destroy their family -->wants to throw the pearl away

Kino is determined that the pearl will bring them good, and he plans on selling the pearl so the evil will go away.
Why are the pearl buyers excited about Kino's pearl?
-They all work for one man, they will not gain any personal profit.
-Derive a certain thrill from getting the lowest price out of a first-rate pearl.
-The buyers, aware of Kino's pearl, pressure him to sell, but they have a covenant not to bid the price up.
What does Steinbeck mean when he says that a great deal can be learned about a man from the tilt of his hat?
-Way a man wears his hat is a clue to his feelings.
-Kino removes his hat in deference to the doctor
-Preparing to go to pearl buyers, tilts his hat foward to show his aggressiveness and seriousness and vigor.
What happened when the Indians attempted to market their pearls collectively?
In an effort to obtain a better bargaining position, the Indians pooled their pearls and appointed agents to sell them in the capital. The agents who were sent never returned (took pearls for themselves).
What is the significance of squinting the eyes?
As Kino and Juan Tomas walk to pearl buyers, they squint their eyes, just as their past generations did for 400 years.
-Simple physical act was their only defense against authority- a slitting of the eyes combined with "a slight tightening of the lips and a retirement.
-No authority could break down this mask; the Indians could remain whole.
In the office, how does Kino see the pearl?
Before arriving in the office, Kino has been fascinated by its beauty. Under the magnifying glass, it appears ugly. Throughout the remainder of the story, it becomes uglier.
Why must Kino go to the capital?
He must keep his commitment. It is a matter of pride. Juana knows that because he is a man, he will not change his mind after announcing his decision.
How has the pearl caused the relationship between Kino and Juana deteriorate?
Juana tries to throw away the pearl, and Kino beats her. Kino realizes what he does, and he is disgusted. Juana is compared to a sheep while Kino is compared to a snake.
In the light of Juana's views on men and women, name other differeneces based on the characters of Kino and Juana.
Juana is as strong as Kino, but more reasonable. Men are motivated by courage, reckless pride, and honor. She makes decisions instinctively & instutively. Juana acts out of concern for her family. She believes that men are half madmen, half god.
How does Juana react to the murder?
Juana knew in an instant that their old life was over. She reacts quickly, and drags the dead man into the bush.
Why is the destruction of a canoe such a terrible crime?
-Canoes cannot protect itself, have future generations, heal
-Gift from Kino's grandfather and father
-Represents past, present, and future
-Key to Kino's livelihood, and the destruction of canoe = destruction of part of himself
What songs does Kino hear in this chapter? When does he hear them?
When Kino and Juana first set out, Kino hears the Song of the Pearl mixed with the Song of the Family. When he looks at the pearl, the music becomes sinister. The music of evil grows stronger as the trackers approach. It becomes secret and poisonous as his pounding heart gives its rhythm. While Kino prepares to attack, the music of enemy of replaced by the Song of the Family, fierce and sharp. When Kino and Juana return to town, the Song of the Family becomes a battle cry, making Kino insensitive and terrible.
What does Kino see in the pearl when he goes away?
When Kino looks in the pearl for his rifle, he sees a dead body.
Instead of a church wedding, he sees Juana, beaten and crawling home.
The vision of an education for Coyotito --> Coyotito's feverish face.
Compare Kino's and Juana's reactions to the trackers.
Kino is afraid when he first sees the trackers, for he knows their skill. He considers giving himself up.
Juana reminds Kino that the trackers will kill all of them. Panicstriken, they flee to the mountains like animals. Juana refuses to leave Kino; her strength gives him courage. He stops running and begins to plan.
How does the landscape contrast with the landscape at the beginning of the story?
The landscape is of rough rocks and spindly cacti. The sand is dry and lifeless.
-Unnatural setting for man, contrasting sharply with the wholeness Kino once knew in his home environment.
How is the tracker's reaction to Coyotito's cry ironic?
The tracker shoots at what he believes is a coyote pup. Coyotito's name means "little coyote."
How is Coyotito's death revealed?
There is only the crack of the rifle and the cry. When Kino and Juana walk back to town, it becomes clear that Coyotito is dead.
How has the grating of Kino's with become an irony?
Kino has gained one thing he wished for - a rifle - but at the price of his son's life.

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