Pearl Final Exam

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The Pearl
Fina Exam

Honors English II
12 February 2012
The Pearl
Fina Exam

Honors English II
12 February 2012

This novel is not just a narrative about a native finding a precious jewel and who is overcome with fear, obsession and anger. This novel is a story of how a simple sense of greed can destroy a man’s morals, and view on what is really important. In The Pearl, the reader sees how the Europeans had a sense of control over the natives. The mind control that the Europeans had over the natives is very present. There are examples of the doctor in Kino’s community trying to swindle, manipulate, and mislead Kino. When the doctor learns of Kino’s pearl, he uses Coyotito’s sickness to try and take the pearl from them. Not knowing his son was actually fine, Kino allowed the doctor to try and make Coyotito feel “better”. However, in all actuality the doctor makes Coyotito more ill. The Europeans had this advantage over the natives. The natives were ignorant to what was true and what a form of mind control was. This sense of mind control the Europeans had over the natives led Kino to act differently than what he was acting prior to finding the pearl. The sense of fear was put into Kino and the sense of greed was coming out of him. Kino became disturbed. The pearl was separating him from his true self. In the very beginning of the novel, Kino hears the “Song of the Family.” The song is referring to the traditional values that were instilled in him before the Europeans came and replaced those traditional values with their own. When Kino found the pearl, his morals changed. He became more obsessed with the pearl than the safety of his family. Kino does not take heed of the feelings of the gods as he may once have done before finding the pearl. However, he keeps hearing a melody or sound whenever he feels that something is not right. He does not take heed of it, but he doesn’t completely ignore it. Kino felt anger whenever he hears the music. This music kept playing in his head reminding him of what was right the whole time. In a sense, this ultimately shows what greed can do to someone who is caught between doing what is morally right, and what he has been taught is right.

Music was very important to Kino and his family. It gave a sense of their traditional culture that had been stripped away from their ancestors. Throughout the course of the novel John Steinbeck refers the music in Kino’s head the “Song of the Family” or the “music of the enemy”. On page 2, John Steinbeck describes Kino replaying the music of his ancestor’s in his head. He shows how they would make up song from anything that they had heard, seen or felt. Kino referred to this as the Song of the Family. When the Europeans came to the new world, they forced their culture on the natives. They stripped them of their tradition and values. However, Kino’s family still acquire their traditional values and they still use them. On page 5, John Steinbeck tells of Juana chanting the “ancient magic” of her ancestors along with the Hail Mary of the Europeans to save Coyotito from the scorpion. She was confused about which chant would save her child’s life because their ancestor’s traditional music chant was still instilled in them, but she had been force to accept the new tradition that had been brought by the Europeans. While searching for the pearl, he found a clam that contained the pearl. He was reluctant to pick that clam however because he didn’t want to receive bad luck from the gods because of greed of the pearl. When he picked up the clam that contained the pearl, it says that he heard the melody of his heartbeat of the maybe pearl. On page 19, he finally found the pearl. It says that Kino heard the melody of the pearl which was triumphant and beautiful. The melody of the maybe pearl gave him hope for a better life for his family. This is the same hope that he could have gotten from the traditional chants and songs of his ancestors. While having...
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