The Pearl

How doe Kino's pearl enter the dreams and schemes of different people in the village?

Chapter 3

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The priest visits Kino and Juana, and tells them that he hopes that they will remember to give thanks and to pray for guidance. The doctor also visits, and although Kino tells him that Coyotito is nearly well, the doctor claims that the scorpion sting has a curious effect that comes later and if he is not treated he may suffer blindness or a withered leg.

the doctor's newfound interest in Kino stems from a manipulative and dangerous greed. His visit to Kino reveals that he not only wishes to secure part of Kino's new fortune through the salary the doctor might receive for treatment but, as shown by the doctor's attempt to locate the pearl in Kino's hut, that he intends to steal the pearl. Steinbeck makes clear that the doctor does not visit Kino to cure his son; in fact, he indicates that the doctor's treatment of Coyotito might even be superfluous. The suspicious designs of both the doctor and the priest indicate that the danger that Kino faces is not from jealous neighbors who might use the pearl to escape their own poverty, but rather from those whose economic situation is secure and who merely desire greater luxury. Steinbeck thus uses the community reaction to the pearl as social commentary that critiques the ruling class for avarice and exploitation.


From the text:

"The news came to the shopkeepers, and they looked at men's clothes that had not sold so well."

"The news came early to the beggars in front of the church, and it made them giggle a little with pleasure, for they knew that there is no almsgiver in the world like a poor man who is suddenly lucky."

"All manner of people grew interested in Kino- people with things to sell and people with favors to ask."

"Every man suddenly became related to Kino's pearl, and Kino's pearl went into the dreams, the speculations, the schemes, the plans, the futures, the wishes, the needs, the lusts, the hungers, of everyone, and only one person stood in the way and that was Kino, so that he became curiously every man's enemy."


The Pearl/ Chapter 3