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A summary of the novel the pearl by john steinbeck

His sufferings begin when he witnesses a scorpion sting his beloved son, Coyotito, as the child lies happily in his cradle.

John Steinbeck’s The Pearl: Summary & Analysis

Though she has made a better poultice of seaweed than the doctor could, she still feels the need for his magic and wants the wherewithal to force him to attend her baby. He imagines being married now that they can pay for the service.

He pictures a new harpoon and then dares imagine possessing a rifle. That last image is so defiant that he goes even further: Even the priest comes to express his hope that Kino will not forget the Church. The doctor also tricks Kino into revealing the place where he has hidden the pearl, and that night either he or his henchman returns to steal it.

In defending his home, Kino draws his first blood. The pearl brokers, acting together because they actually are agents for a single dealeroffer him a pittance. Kino refuses to sell and announces that he will take the pearl to Mexico City instead.

The Pearl Summary

His family—his brother, his sister-in-law, and his wife—stick by him, but they are worried. He does not yet recognize the reversal his fortunes have taken. The third day begins with Juana stealing the pearl and trying to throw it back into the gulf in order to avert the evil she senses is bearing down on her family.

Kino stops her, but as he returns from the shore, he is attacked. Dropping the pearl, he slays his assailant. Juana finds the gem and submissively returns it to her man; she also urges him to flee to save himself from certain arrest.

  • Kino insists that they sell the pearl the next day, reluctantly she agrees;
  • Throughout the novel, the plot discusses how the family lives before and after the pearl.

They go to get their canoe and find that someone has knocked a hole in its bottom. That night, the three head into the Sierra de la Giganta, planning to go to Lorento, a gulf town to the north, but trackers quickly find their trail.

By the evening of the fourth day, Kino and his family are holed up in a cave while the trackers camp in the mountain cleft below them.

  1. He is content with his life-style as a diver but is not wealthy until he discovers the pearl. The pearl brokers, acting together because they actually are agents for a single dealer , offer him a pittance.
  2. In the beginning Kino lives a life of simplicity and happiness but when he discovers the pearl, he believes that good will come from it. Once Kino discovers the pearl, he begins to dream about what could come from this fortune, but as he tries to carry out this plan, the good wealth also brings destruction.
  3. He is content with his life-style as a diver but is not wealthy until he discovers the pearl.
  4. The doctor is able to miraculously "cure" the baby and asks for payment. However, he vows that he will not be cheated.
  5. The doctor who refused to treat Coyotito only the day before arrives.

Kino leaps too late. Late in the afternoon of the fifth day, the two return to La Paz, carrying their dead child. They walk straight through the town to the gulf shore. There Kino pulls out the great pearl and offers it to Juana, but she declines, and it is he who returns the pearl to the sea.