The Pearl: Music


Music is known to be a quality in which one possesses toproduce harmony,
or to make others pleasant through messages.Authors use descriptive writing
to set the atmosphere in manystories. In the short story, "The Pearl", John
Steinbeck usesdifferent types of music to introduce, and set the atmosphere
ofthe story. In this, music is used to introduce evil, to showfamily
lifestyle, and to show significance of the pearl. John Steinbeck shows
evil\'s intrusion into Kino\'s family bymeans of music. Evil is introduced
into many scenes, by itsshadows and music. Kino, being the main character,
is usuallyfirst to hear it. "Kino stepped to the doorway and looked
out...The thin dog cameto him, and threshed itself in greeting like a
wind©blown flag,and Kino looked down at it and didn\'t see it. He had
brokenthrough the horizons into a cold and lonely outside. He feltalone and
unprotected, and scraping crickets and shrilling treefrogs and croaking
toads seemed to be carrying the melody ofevil." Here Kino, hears the evil
music carried out through the eyesof nature. The baby, Coyotito, is still,
and quiet, and does notknow of the evil that is approaching. As for his
illness, it hasbeen cured when Kino first found the pearl. In time, a
little after Kino hears this evil music, the doctorarrives having already
heard about the baby\'s miraculousrecovery. The doctor informs Kino of
Coyotito\'s situation, andhow the illness will return. He then treats it
with a smallremedy. Kino knows Coyotito is not sick, but accepts the
doctorshelp to ensure his sons health. Already knowing the
doctor\'sexpectations in payment, Kino refuses to give up his pearl. Once
the doctor leaves the house, Kino no longer hears theevil music that once
played with his ears. Following thesymptoms that the doctor assumed,
Coyotito becomes ill and lateron returns to his original state. From this
scene, one can deduce that Kino\'s sense of evilcomes from music, and also
that this is the form of writing thatJohn Steinbeck uses to introduce an
evil pretense. In this scene,evil music is used as a form of descriptive
writing, as it setsthe atmosphere for the event about to take place. It
also addssuspense, as one may not know where and when the evil shallstrike.
Steinbeck tries to emphasize the fact that thisphenomenon that Kino hears
is similar to what one may consider asixth sense in modern times. Kino thus
has the ability toanticipate evil before it actually appears in the plot.

Music within the family is portrayed by a family prayer orsong. This is
sung by most of the poor families of the village,as it has an emotional
effect on family lifestyles. "Juana sang softly an ancient song that had
only three notes andyet endless variety of interval. And this was part of
the familysong too. It was all part. Sometimes it rose to an aching
chordthat caught the throat saying this is safety, this is warmth,this is
the Whole." At this point, Kino awakes as usual to hear sounds of thefamily
song. Here, John Steinbeck brings across the point thatKino\'s family does
this on a regular basis and that they considerit similar to a ritual.
Steinbeck also stresses that the familymusic is what separates Kino\'s
family from the other villagers. In this scene Kino also hears the sound of
breakfast, pigs,and wives. These are all parts of music, but all belonging
toother families in the village. The song clearly demonstrates thebond
between Kino and his family\'s lives John Steinbeck uses music of the family
as a belief, similarto how we believe in God, and pray to Him. Kino\'s
family singsand believes in their unity, and that if their family was to
fallapart, they would lose their point in life. The family uses theirsong
as a form of motivation, something to strive for. Kinos mainpoint in life
is to ensure a strong future for the family. The song coming from the pearl
is similar to that of evil. Theonly difference is that it gives an illusion
of good, rather thanthat of evil.

"All of these things Kino saw in the lucent pearl and he said,\'We will
have new clothes\'. And the music of the pearl rose likea chorus of trumpets
in his ears. Then to the lovely gray surfaceof the pearl came the little
things Kino wanted... His lips themmoved hesitantly over this©\'A rifle\', he
said.\'Perhaps a rifle\'." From this quote, one can notice that as the song
of the pearlcontinues, it grows stronger in Kino\'s head, slowly
separatinghim from his family. John Steinbeck brings the song of the
pearlto use by changing the needs of Kino, bringing him closer toevil,