The Pearl


Cast of Characters

Kino—The central figure of the narrative, Kino is the young Mexican Indian who finds the pearl of the world. Content and happy with life before the pearl, Kino falls under the evil spell of the pearl and begins a determined course of action that results in the death of his child.

Juana—She is Kino’s young wife (although the two have not had the marriage witnessed by the priest). She is obedient, loyal, and loving to Kino. However, when she realizes that the pearl is a threat to her family, she tries to get rid of it herself. This action sends Kino into a violent rage. She is strong, courageous, and never vindictive or resentful—even when beaten.

Coyotito—He is Kino and Juana’s infant son. At the beginning of the narrative, he is stung by a scorpion. This event introduces the concept of evil into the narrative. His illness drives the parents to seek the assistance of the doctor (even though Juana seems to know already of a remedy that is sufficient to restore her baby’s health). Coyotito’s illness, however, also inspires the parents to seek their treasure in the sea. His death (at the hands of assassins) prompts the parents to return the pearl to the sea. His death is also foreshadowed by his very name, which means “coyote” in Spanish. His cries at the end of the novella are mistaken for a coyote, which prompts the tracker to fire his rifle.

Juan Thomas—Juan is Kino’s brother in the fishing village. He is older and seemingly wiser than Kino. He advises Kino to part with the pearl, but only after he sees the evil that the pearl inspires in men. Earlier, however, he supports Kino in his attempt not to be cheated by the buyers. Afterward, his common sense tells him that selling the pearl for any price is better than keeping it.

Apolonia—She is Juan’s fat wife. She helps Juan keep the whereabouts of Kino and Juana a secret after their hut burns down.


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Essays About The Pearl