The Pearl

As Kino, Juana, and Coyotito flee into the mountains after spotting the trackers, Steinbeck describes their movements as “panic flight.” What does this term mean? Why is panic flight dangerous for the family? How do Juana’s actions stop their panic

Today is my last day of school and im having trouble with this story, any help would be appreciated.

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My favorite scene in the book is toward the end, when a group of trackers are sent after Kino and his family (wife and infant child) to retrieve the pearl. It is quite obvious that they intend to kill Kino if necessary. The scene begins with the family fleeing their village for the mountains. "This was panic flight," Steinbeck says, giving examples of how they are being careless, leaving a trail in their wake. The nature imagery used here is amazing, from the "sun steamed down on the dry cracking earth" to "the naked granite mountains" and "little tufts of sad dry grass". The picture that is being painted in the reader's mind makes the tension of the scene that much more real because it's like you're there in the mountains with the family. All the dry imagery also helps to convey the thirstiness Kino and his family must be feeling.

"He looked then for weakness in her face, for fear or irresolution, and there was none. Her eyes were very bright. He shrugged his shoulders helplessly then, but he had taken strength from her. When they moved on it was no longer a panic flight." just love the way Steinbeck says this. He first paints the wife's strength by showing how her face is completely untouched by fear. He then tells how Kino drew the strength from her. It shows the power of family, while at the same time being very romantic. More importantly, he revisits the phrase from before about it being a panic flight, stating that now it is no longer such a thing. Kino realizes the stakes, that he is responsible for the wellbeing of his family. He is not going to carelessly run through trees and dishovel the land anymore.