The Pearl

What is the doctor's opinion of Kino and his people? How do you Know?

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The doctor actually seems to be repulsed at the idea of treating Coyotito...... if given treatment doesn't line his pockets, he's simply not interested. Steinbeck uses the doctor who refuses to treat Coyotito as a symbol of the forces of oppression that Kino and Juana face. The doctor represents the societal system that places a monetary value on human life, as well as the obstacles that Kino and Juana face. The racial divide between the doctor and Kino plays a considerable role in his refusal to treat Coyotito; although this aspect of the story is not omnipresent, this presents an additional element of adversity that Kino and Juana must endure.

"Juana wants the doctor." A wonderful thing, a memorable thing, to want the doctor. To get him would be a remarkable thing. The doctor never came to the cluster of brush houses. Why should
he, when he had more than he could do to take care of the rich people who lived in the stone and plaster houses of the town.

Kino hesitated a moment. This doctor was not of his people. This doctor was of a race which for nearly four hundred years had beaten and starved and robbed and despised Kino's race, and frightened it too, so that the indigene came humbly to the door.

"Has he any money?" the doctor demanded. "No, they never have any money. I, I alone in the world am supposed to work for nothing- and I am tired of it. See if he has any money!"

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The Pearl