The Pearl Notes: Chapter 1

1. Kino and Juana live in a lower class society, where many things would
become village affairs, and the family was extremely important. When
Coyotito was stung by a scorpion and Kino and Juana went to the doctor,
most of the village followed them. The family was proven to be important
because it was all Kino and Juana had. The poverty was obvious, because,
when Kino had to save his son, all he had were a few worthless pearls.

2. In the morning when Kino awakens, he heard the "Song of the Family."
This was caused by the fact that Kino knew his life, with his family, was
whole. Another song Kino hears is the "Song of Evil," or the music of the
enemy. This was first caused by the scorpion that stung Coyotito, and was
later caused when Kino thought about the doctor and his people who hurt
Kino's people. Finally, the song was again caused by the doctors refusal to
treat Coyotito. In Chapter Two Kino hears the "Song of the Pearl that Might
Be," which was a song of hope for Kino and his family. This happened
whenever Kino went diving.

3. The ants Kino watched where struggling to get out of a trap. Kino did
nothing to help or hurt them, as they where part of the "Song of the
Family" and were natural. In chapter one it could be said that Kino and
Juana where trying to get out of the trap that they were living in, which
was characterized by the fact that the doctor and his people were in
control, and would not help Kino or his people, therefore laying the trap
that luck alone determined wether on of Kino's people lived to adulthood or

5. Kino was a man who was typical of his breed. He would go straight
through a problem, attacking it directly. He cared much for his wife and
son, but was very stubborn. As described, he was sold in his colors. He had
no grey areas, only black and white. His love of his family was white, his
stubbornness black. Neither would bend. Juana was a loving, strong, and
disgustingly obedient. She would probably made a better family head, but
Kino's ego would not allow it. Should was not influenced by pride, and
tried to go around problems rather than through them.

6. Since the Europeans treated the Indians "like animals" the doctors
statement about himself and his medical practice was predictable. His
statement was also an example of irony. It really meant he was at home and
did not consider Coyotito's life worth saving, as his opinion of Indians
was that they were subhuman.

7. The doctor was a stout and considerably rich man, who had no self
respect, as no self-respecting human being could turn away a person like he
did. He wanted to go back to Paris, eat in restaurants, and have a
mistress. In my opinion the doctor is in fact more uncivilized, or at least
more evil, than any of Kino's people, because he had the power to help
them, yet did not.

8. The brush houses were weaker, but natural, while the plaster houses were
unnatural, but more secure. The people who lived in the brush houses were
poor, but considered themselves civilized, while the people who lived in
the plaster houses were safer, but considered the Indians uncivilized. I
conclude from this that the people who lived in plaster houses considered
nature uncivilized, while the Indians considered it a way of life.