maybe has to do with spirits and imagination, as opposed to materialism.
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The story is full of traditions which give Kino's people order and peace. The song of the family, the morning sounds and day to day rituals are what keeps things simple and in perspective. Materialism that is personified in the great pearl brings disorder to this balance. Friends and neighbours are no longer the same. Other's covet Kino's "good fortune" and Kino himself feels his heart harden. No longer does he feel the peace of his surroundings, only an ominous darkness.