The Pearl

In chapter5 what happened to kino? what effect has possessing the pearl had on him?

In chapter5

Kino murders a man and his home is burned. "The pearl has become my sou," said Kino. "if i give it up i shall lose my soul."

what happened to kino? what effect has possessing the pearl had on him?

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Steinbeck also makes the explicit point that the greatest damage caused by the pearl is the change that it effects within Kino. The caring father and partner of the first chapter at this point in the story attacks Juana when she attempts to take the pearl. Juana realizes the change in her husband from a normal man to one with a questionable grip on sanity. It is ironic that, when Kino declares that he is a man, he begins to act "half insane and half god," thus negating the qualities that define him as a man. Steinbeck creates a tone of futility about Kino's enterprise; as the rational and level-headed Juana realizes, Kino is a man raging against an obstacle as insurmountable as a mountain or a storm, and his struggles will only cause him to destroy himself.

Kino even finds himself capable of murder to defend himself; whether Kino is capable of a more cold-blooded killing still remains questionable. Kino's comment that the pearl has become his soul is the defining statement of his condition. It shows that Kino has ceased to be in some level human; he cannot consider normal human needs and emotions, but defiantly focuses on the pearl.