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Kino and Juana felt that the Pearl would change their lives. Both lived in poverty and, after being stung by a scorpion, their little boy needed a paid doctor. One of Steinbeck’s themes is that good fortune often comes with a price. Close family and friends begin to gossip about what will become of the pearl and if they might share in the good fortune. People's attitudes change toward the young family. Traders try to swindle them and it isn't long before they are perused by henchmen. Juana quickly realises that the pearl is more a curse than anything else. I would say ehat she begins to see this early in the story when her friends and neighbours treat her differently. As they are being chased, Juana knows that the pearl will be their undoing. Kino does not let go of his pearl until the end of the story. He is determined that his "good fortune" will pay off. Unfortunately, the price Kino pays is much too steep.