The story of the pearl is about a poor Mexican fisherman called (Kino) who lives in a brush house with his wife Juana and their son Coyotito.
One morning while Kino looks over at Juana, and his son Coyotito who is sleeping in a hanging box, something happens. Both Kino and Juana see a scorpion on the hanging cradle and freeze in place and couldn’t do anything. Juana says some words repeatedly and with a low voice. Kino, meanwhile, decides that action would be better than no action. He moves silently across the room and reaches his hand ever-so-gently toward the scorpion. Then, Coyotito, who has no idea what’s going on, shakes the cradle, dropping the scorpion inside.
Kino tries to take the scorpion away from Coyotito’s bed, but after it sting the kid. Then Juana takes the screaming baby and tries to suck out the poison; Kino feels helpless. The screaming alerts the neighbors and everyone realizes the baby may die. Kino takes a moment to find out how strong his wife is, at that though moment, she tells him to go and get a doctor.
The people all whisper about how the doctor will never come out to the poor people and their brush houses, Juana, afraid they are right and decides that they should go to the doctor and they make their way to the doctor’s house but the doctor refuses to treat the child because they are poor and don’t have money.
After that, Kino and Juana make their way with Coyotito down to Kino’s canoe, which is belonged to Kino’s grandfather.
Meanwhile, Coyotito is getting worse; Juana puts a poultice of seaweed over the wound, which is probably better than the doctor could have done. Juana prays silently that Kino will find a pearl in the water big enough to pay a doctor. Kino dives to the bottom. Kino is skilled and can stay under water for two minutes, expertly choosing the best oysters. And then, he sees one huge oyster, slightly opened, alone on an overhang. The oyster is opened slightly, and Kino sees something shining inside it.
After bringing out all the oysters he opens them one by one starting form the small one. Eventually he finds The Pearl. It is the biggest pearl ever seen. Juana draws Kino’s attention to Coyotito; the swelling has gone down and it looks like the poison is leaving his body. Kino makes a long sad sound like howling emotionally, which leads to all the other canoers paddling over to his boat. Probably not the greatest move when you’ve got the world’s most valuable pearl in your hand.
News about Kino’s pearl travels fast across town. The priest hears about the pearl and thinks about repairs needed for the church, the shopkeepers think about the clothes they could sell to Kino, etc. The also doctor realizes Kino was the guy from earlier, and he thinks about Paris and fine dining. Each person sees what the pearl could do for him, and Kino becomes the only man standing in their way.
But Kino and Juana are happily oblivious. Kino talks about what he will do once he becomes a rich man. He decides he wants to get married to his wife – officially and in the church, then he says he wants a rifle, his son Coyotito will go to school. But then he gets scared at his own talking, seeming to doubt the real capabilities of this magical pearl. Then the priest comes to visit them and tells them that they should donate some money to the church. After that the doctor and his servant visit his house. The doctor says he was out earlier, but now he’s come to look at the baby. Kino tells him the baby is better, but the doctor counters that sometimes scorpion stings seem to get better when really they’re getting worse. He then gives Coyotito a mysterious capsule, which we speculate contains poison. The doctor tells Kino that he could hold the pearl and keep it is a safe place for him, but Kino refuses that.
After that he moves the pearl to a hole he’s dug under his sleeping mat. Juana asks who he is afraid of, and Kino answers, "Everyone."
The next day Kino decided to take the pearl to sell it. Juana dresses herself and Coyotito in their finest, and she and Kino lead the procession into town. Juan cautions his brother not to get cheated by the pearl-buyers. When Kino arrives and declares he has a pearl to sell, the buyer offers a thousand pesos. Kino counters that it’s worth fifty thousand. The dealer tells Kino to go ask the other dealers independently (since they’re all working together to keep the offers very low). The next buyer offers six hundred, so Kino hold his pearl back and declares he will go sell it in the capital. As he is coming back, one of the dealers calls that he could do fifteen hundred pesos, but Kino refuses.
Kino goes home, buries the pearl, and feels afraid. He’s hesitant to take the journey to the capital because he’s never been away from home before, and he doesn’t know anything about different lands. His brother Juan comes to visit. Kino declares the buyers are cheats, and Juan affirms that they have been cheated all their lives. He is worried for Kino’s safety as the night grows darker; Kino gets more and more suspicious that something is outside waiting to attack. He goes to the doorway, and when Juana follows she finds him on the ground bleeding from the head – there is a long wound from his ear to his chin. Juana tells her husband that the pearl is evil and they must get rid of it. Kino plans for them to leave tomorrow in their canoe for the capital.
Kino opens his eyes in the darkness to see Juana moving slowly without stopping like a shadow. He watches her silently leave their hut and follows her out to the beach in anger. Kino manages to stop her just as she is about to throw the pearl into the water. He fights with her and tries to move her back, strikes her in the face, and kicks her once she’s fallen to the ground. Juana is terrified and, looking at Kino, knows that he is capable of murder.
As Kino makes his way back to the hut, a person attacks him. He stabs the person with his knife while the pearl is knocked onto the ground. Juana, meanwhile, isn’t angry at her husband. Juana picks herself up off the ground and brings back the pearl. Holding it in her hands, she wonders whether she should go back and throw it out to the ocean. But then she sees two figures in the darkness, Kino, moving sluggishly, and a second man who is bleeding from the throat. Then she decides it would be useless to throw the pearl away; now that Kino has killed a man, she can never retrieve the peace they all had before the pearl came into their lives.
He runs back to his house only to see that someone has lit it on fire. He takes Juana and Coyotito and runs to his brother’s nearby house, where Apolonia is thinking they’re dead.
Juan, Kino’s brother, tells him that the pearl is evil and that he will hide him for the day before his (Kino’s) journey the next evening to the North. The next night, after darkness has fallen, Juan asks if Kino is willing to destroy the pearl. Kino declares that the pearl has become his soul.
In the night Kino and Juana skirt the edge of the town and take the road through the brush country towards Lareto .the night was windy and the wind erased their tracks on dusty road. Kino was feeling like a hunted animal and was feeling worry and dangerous and he was walking carefully Kino stayed awake that night but Juana fell asleep and after she wake up she asked him if they are followed .Kino answered that maybe they are but he was not sure who is following them.
Kino looks deeply into the pearl's surface and shocked by a series of images of the man he has stabbed when Kino sees the three trackers and one of them carrying a rifle he suggested to Juana to surrender but she reminds him that they will not allow him to live once they have the pearl. Kino and his family go into a shallow cave after they flee over land to a mountain. The trackers arrive and they could see Kino's diversionary but they decide to settle for the night.
Juana struggles to keep the baby silent, and when one of the men strikes a match Kino was able to see that he is sitting up with rifle and the other are sleep. Kino tells Juana that he will sneak up the man and seize the rifle. Juana accepts.
Kino removes his white clothes because his own brown skin was better protection to him and he made his way to just a few yards from the watchman .at that time he heard the sound of Coyotito’s crying from above. The watchman stands up and thought that the sound might be a coyote pup .so he cocks his gun to fire at the sound and Kino jumps but it was too late to prevent the man from getting of a shot the third while the rifle as he tries to flee up the side of the cliff. In the ensuing silence Kino hears Juana’s hysterical cries and he knows that his son is dead.
Late in the afternoon Kino and Juana return to the Lapaz carrying dead Coyotito in a blood clothes bundle Juana was fatigue. Kino was full of danger and fear. Gradually make their way to the seashore when he takes out the pearl and sees in the surface and image of his death on. He first offered the pearl to Juana to throw in the ocean. But she shakes her head indicating that Kino must do himself. Kino threw the pearl into ocean and soon covered by the sand.
The major characters are Kino, his wife Juana and their son Coyotito, because all the events goes around them in the story. Here we are explaining these three characters briefly.
Kino: The main character in the story. Kino is a Mexican fisherman of the village near La Paz. He is poor and lives in a brush hut near the seashore. He has a wife, Juana, and an infant son, Coyotito. Although he is not aware of it, Kino is a quiet man, at harmony with nature and well liked in the village. His most valuable possession is his canoe, which has been passed down to him from his grandfather and father. He has a brother Juan Thomas who also lives in the village. Kino finds a great pearl that inspires him to dream of things beyond his position, and though this pearl he wanted to make a better life for his family and make his dreams reality, but unfortunately, all the events became against him and he lost his son and became a killer because of the pearl.
Juana: She is Wife of Kino. Her name means "woman" and her character is the idealized woman of the parable. She is beautiful, intelligent and a merciful woman throughout the story she is a source of strength and support for her husband even when she believes his actions are wrong. She believes that women and men are different and does not seek to step outside that difference. Once Juana comes to understand that the pearl is evil she attempts to save her family by throwing it into the ocean. After Kino beats her for her defiance she relents to the conviction driving him and agrees to accompany him to the city.
Coyotito The only son of Juana and Kino, the infant Coyotito is the changing point for much of what happens in the novel and represents the victim of the conflicts between older people. In his innocence and ignorance, he causes the scorpion to fall on him and sting him. The need created by his illness leads to the discovery of the pearl. Kino's desire that Coyotito receive an education is one of the most important things driving him to receive a fair sum for the pearl. Coyotito represents the family's survival and his death symbolizes the destruction of the family. Coyotito's name derives from the word "coyoti" which "coyote", a small kind of wolf. Because form the sound of crying the trackers believed that the sound is “coyote’s pup” and they shot towards the cave and killed Coyotito.
The Doctor The doctor is full of avarice, deception and greed. He is of the race that has oppressed Kino's people for generations. He resents the poverty of the village and refuses to treat Indians unless they prove they can pay for his services first. Kino believes that the doctor intentionally poisons Coyotito in order to capitalize on the wealth that the pearl will bring. The doctor offers to store the pearl in his safe and when Kino refuses, the doctor uses the opportunity to discover where it is hidden. The doctor is the symbol of colonialism in the story and considered the poor people as animals and refused to treat them.
The Priest The local religious leader of the Catholic church. He is accustomed to treating the people of the village like children and he approves of Kino's plan to remarry Juana in the church. Kino distrusts his motives and felt uncomfortable when the priest enters their hut. Juana, however, seeks to impress the Priest with the promise that they will marry in the church.
Juan Thomás Elder brother of Kino and his one true friend in the village. Juan Thomás offers Kino shelter after Kino has killed a man. Juan Thomás also offers him advice on the pearl. He is a humble man who is seemingly content with his station in life yet understands Kino's desire to better the station of his own family.
Apolonia Wife of Juan Thomas. She is described as "fat". She and Juan Thomas have four children. Although her character is but briefly defined we can infer that she is loyal to Juan Thomas because she assists in hiding Kino and Juana. Also, she suffers real grief when she believes that Kino and his family have perished in the destruction of their hut she is vain enough to want to change into her best clothes for the occasion.
The most important event in the novel is finding the pearl. Because after finding it every thing is changed. Through this diagram we’re going to explain the climax of the story:
There are many types of conflicts in the story. Both external and internal are existed, for example there are conflicts between person to person, person to nature, person to fate and so on, which are external conflicts. And there is a conflict between person to him self which is internal.
Regarding the protagonist and antagonist, Kino is the antagonist, because all the events go around him. And the antagonist is the pearl it self because causes many things to Kino and his family.
Here we are explaining the most important conflicts in the story:
1- Person to person:
-The first conflict in type of person to person is between Kino and Juana .when Juana told Kino to throw the pearl back into the sea, because it was evil and it would destroy their family, Kino didn't listen to her and punched her and hit her, he told her that they would sell it, the next day and the evil would be gone.
2- Person to nature
-Between the pearl and Kino .The pearl is from nature, because the pearl destroyed his family's life .when Kino found the pearl ,it changed his behavior towards his wife and he gave the priority to the pearl and tried to make his dreams come true with the pearl ,but the pearl only brought him trouble. The pearl the reason for stabbing a man by Kino with a knife when he tried to steal the pearl, the pearl also was the main reason behind the trackers to follow Kino and his family to get the pearl, and the result was Coyotito’s death. So the conflict with the pearl is one of the main types of conflicts in the novel.
-The scorpion and Coyotito. Scorpion is also from nature, and when the scorpion stung Coyotito when he was in his sleeping box, it’s another conflict with the nature. The scorpion which is from nature and it causes many problems to Kino and his family. Like: they went to the doctor to treat him but reused to treat poor people, but also the scorpion stung was one of the main causes of finding the pearl, because Kino wanted to find something valuable such as a pearl to give it to the doctor so as to treat and heal the stung of the scorpion on Coyotito’s shoulder.
3- Person to fate
-Between Kino and his fate. Kino was a very unlucky man, he found one of the most valuable pearls but he wasn’t able to get advantage from it and make his and his family’s life better and make his dreams reality. So it was his fate to find the pearl, become a killer and lose his son, Coyotito.
4- Person to life circumstances
-Between Kino and his poverty .Because he lived very simply in a village .he was a fisher man who worked hard to supply for his family's needs. Life's cruelty made Kino follow the wrong path.
5- Kino to society
-Between Kino and his neighbors. The neighbors all gathered around Kino's house .when they heard that Kino found the great pearl; they wanted a part of Kino’s fortune and pearl so they tried to steal the pearl from him and they were very jealous of him.
-Between Kino and the doctor .when Coyotito was stung by scorpion, Kino went to bring the doctor to treat his son, but the doctor didn't come because he was a greedy man and refused to treat poor people.
-Between Kino and the trackers .when Kino ,Juana and their son Coyotito ran away from Lapaz, three trackers were following them ,because they wanted the pearl and they ended up killing Coyotito by mistake ,but Kino also killed the trackers.
-Between Kino and the buyers .when Kino went to sell the pearl ,the buyers tried to cheat him and give him less money and they said that it was big ,yet worthless ,so Kino didn't sell it and went back home, because he knew that they were lying.
-Between Kino and the priest .when the priest went to their house to bless it and to tell Kino not to change or forget himself and to give some money to the church.
Everyone above-mentioned is from the society that Kino lived in, so we can say that every single person from the society was jealous of Kino because of finding the pearl and everyone wanted to get the pearl. So here, Kino didn’t have any solution except leaving his village and his society. That’s why we can say that the conflict between Kino and his society was too strong and causes many bad things to Kino and his family.
6- Kino to himself
-Between Kino and his desires, because Kino followed his heart and not his brain .He wanted his dreams for his family to come true so bad that he didn't care about the consequences .Kino struggled with life and he expected to use the pearl to pay for his son, Coyotito’s education and he also dreamed that with the pearl, he can buy his family new clothes and a rifle for himself and him and his wife would be married in a church.
(Tininess sometimes become victim of elder’s mistakes)
The pearl may have a lot of themes and we can take out many ideas that the novel consists of. Bellow we are explaining the most important themes and subjects that the novel based on:
1- Family: family in an important theme that the writer tried to express from this novella. Kino loves Juana and Coyotito and wished to provide them a serene and comfortable life, through Juana characteristic, we see the power of ( iron lady) being a decent wife and the women behind his man, Juana chose to remain silent, she shares the joy and sorrow with Kino but he acts rudely towards her. She quietly bears the external and internal pain. When Kino is ready to set off to the ocean, Juana insists to follow him because she wants to prepare poultice, a traditional cure made of sea weeds. If we compare Kino to her, Juana’s concept of family love is far more rational than Kino’s who was mistaken the focus of family love.
2- Greed; the second theme is the destructiveness of greed. Once again the hypocrite doctor realize that Kino is going to be wealthy, he offers his help to care Coyotito, Kino’s heart is fill anger but his love for his beloved son overcomes hatred instead of curing him, he drugs him and causes Coyotito to suffer from an a cute illness .Kino and Juana do not know what had happened and they are very worried, few hours later, the doctor retried he gives Coyotito. The antidote, and finally he is fine. The avid doctor with no practice of medicate ethics theirs to poison Coyotito to make him a pearl sick so that he could claim that he had won the battle in curing Coyotito .
3- Struggle for survival; nature is one of the antagonists in story that brings many calamities upon this family, paradox? Yes, I guess so the ocean plays an important role in Kino’s life because it promises financial security. Pearl diving is not an easy job. unless you are an experience pearl diver , even so you have to face to danger of suffocation bitten by , marine creatures and high pressure of the wader's depth ,these are not all ,what if you cannot find a single oyster at all , there goes your family , suffer from hunger and poverty .
4- Hope and dream; before the pearl enters Kino’s life, he was just a simple and ordinary who longed to live peacefully with his wife, Juana and her only son Coyotito in their village. This was he hoped at the first place, soon he begins to hope for more materialism satisfaction Coyotito is his only precious child. He hopes his son to receive proper education in order to flee from poverty and discrimination. Kino also hopes for a proper marriage any himself a new rifle, as a symbol of power and wealth. If the death of Coyotito, can draw Kino out of this craziness. I think it is worthy although the poor child has to be scapegoat, but let us think indirectly, Kino realizes that the pearl distractive and had brought misfortune to the family. He finally found his long lost consciousness isn't a much better ending than both of them to be murdered by the atrocious assistant too.
5- Cruelty; every where we notice cruelty made people do things immoral to obtain their. We saw how doctor refused to treat Coyotito because he just treated high class people. Even he know that Coyotito would die he refused to response. In spite of Coyotito’s father imploration. That means the doctor can do ever thing immoral and UN hallowed under the banner of many that was cruelty sides in the novella…..
6- Money and wealth; even when you are poor don't let money or wealth change you. We saw how the pearl destroyed and brushed Kino’s family. Money is benefit when we knew how to treat with it. Also sometimes money can destroy every things family and person's life even our personality. Much of the pearl is about pursing wealth and the dangers that such an endeavor brings. Because wealth is so highly valued for good reason the novella argon. Men take extra ordinary sacrifice in its name such blind; irrational values can only bring destruction.
7- Obstinate (stubborn); Kino was obstinate person his wife try to warn him but he refused to response because he thought that the male is the leader of the house hold. he is dominant ,he is the decision –maker and the family's welfare rests solely on his shoulders the female on other hand is submissive , different and nearly always silent the results of his obstinate was losing his son Coyotito and the precious pearl .
8- Priority; everyone has their priority so Juana’s priority was her family and her husband. Juana passed from many problems and situations she was appear to embrace the role of the submissive wife, but she is actually the dominate partner and she forced in to a gender role because she has not to play the part of a mother once and she didn't give up and she stay beside her husband even he bit her and was carless sometimes with her.
9- Careless; after Kino found the pearl all his focus stayed with the pearl and he was always feared about it if someone steals it. The pearl comparative wealth to a man who was not wealthy. Also he never tries to listen to his wife and he beats his wife that was careless from Kino in front of his family.
10- Happiness; money can buy anything but not happiness and comfortable. we saw how fear occupied his life and he was always think about it but at last he lost every special thing ; his son and the pearl
11- Be a good listener It’s only when one listen that one gets and learns from ones own.
The place that the events happened in is a village called (La Paz) in Mexico. Time and date is not mentioned.
The narrator of the novel is third person, the writer of the novel him self; because he is not inside any events in the story.
Point of view:
The story is a sad story, because Kino and Juana lose their son Coyotito ant the end of the story, the reader of this story may feel sorry for Kino but meanwhile he may be a bit angry to him because he doesn’t obey his brother and his wife who advised him to throw away the pearl because it’s evil and brings evil to the family. As a result of not obeying anyone and his greedy; they lose their son and eventually threw away back the pearl to the ocean.
this piece of writing is presented as an assignment at Literature class by Students of Second Year - English Department - College of Education-Zaxo