The Pearl

How do Kino's and Juana's personalities balance each other?


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Juana manages to function as a pillar of strength to her husband. Juana does play the voice of reason throughout much of the novel. Her prediction that the pearl will destroy their family is of course accurate and her careful advice to Kino (which he ignores) becomes a routine gig in the text

Kino is the strong, sometimes rash, alpha-male. Juana is the gentler nurturing female. Juana softens Kino and tries hard to get him to reflect his actions. Kino is able to be assertive and strong. He is, for example, able to dive deep and long enough to find the Pearl. Juana shares in his initial excitement but then looks upon the Pearl with a more critical eye. Kino must justify his actions to Juana despite not taking her advice. In a disturbing scene, Kino beats Juana for trying to throw the Pearl away. Juana bears this beating as his right. To make her point and balance Kino's obsession Juana felt her actions were worth the beating. In the end Juana must follow her husband but she always adds a sense of caution and reflection to his aggressiveness.