A prototypical Mexican-Indian who works as a pearl diver, he begins the story as a devoted father and husband to Coyotito and Juana, respectively. Kino is the central character of the story, an everyman' who finds himself becoming increasingly violent, paranoid and defiant as he faces opposition from others after he finds the pearl, and resorts to assaulting Juana and murdering those who threaten him.
The mother of Coyotito and the wife of Kino, Juana is, as her name suggests, the representation of woman for Steinbeck in the story. She dutifully supports her husband, despite his worsening treatment of her, but warns him against the dangers that the pearl can bring to the family. Juana remains steadfast throughout the story and devoted to maintaining her family. She even refuses to obey Kino when he suggests that they take separate paths to avoid the trackers.
The infant son of Kino and Juana, after he is stung by a scorpion, the doctor refuses to treat him because his parents have no money. Although Juana seemingly cures him with a seaweed poultice, he receives treatment from the doctor only after Kino finds the pearl. When Kino and Juana are hunted by trackers after escaping La Paz, one of the trackers shoots Coyotito in the head as they hide in a cave.
A fat, complacent man who is not from the same race as Kino and Juana, he refuses to treat Coyotito for a scorpion sting when Kino and Juana cannot pay enough. However, once he learns that Kino has found the Pearl of the World, he treats the healed Coyotito after leading Kino and Juana to believe that Coyotito may suffer unseen consequences from the bite. Seemingly interested in stealing the pearl, the doctor is not of the same race as Kino and Juana, and longs for his days in Paris.
The brother of Kino and the husband of Apolonia, he warns Kino against the disastrous consequences that he faces from finding the pearl. Juan Tomas hides Kino and Juana in his house after Kino murders a man in self-defense.
The fat wife of Juan Tomas, Apolonia allows Kino and Juana to hide in her house after Kino murders a man in self-defense.
The Pearl Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Pearl is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Juana went to the water and waded in. She gathered some brown seaweed and made a flat damp poultice of it, and this she applied to the baby's swollen shoulder, which was as good a remedy as any and probably better than the doctor...