Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Pearl: Sample Answer 1

Choose a character you like in the novel ‘The Pearl’. Explain why you like the particular character by providing textual evidence from the novel.


The character that I like is Kino, who is the main character in the novel. Kino is the protagonist. Throughout the story Kino displays his unrelenting willingness and determination to give his family a bright future. Kino also shows his sense of responsibility toward his family and is very protective of his son, Coyotito and his wife, Juana.

When a scorpion gets closer to Coyotito, Kino anticipates trouble and tries to grab the scorpion but fails to do so. The scorpion lands on Coyotito and stings him on the shoulder. Kino destroys the scorpion by rubbing it into a paste with his bare hands. He is a protective father. This protective nature is evident throughout the story. Kino is even willing to kill people who are a fatal threat to his family. Kino is always alert and when an intruder is in his brush house for an evil purpose, Kino attacks the intruder and drives him out of his house. In protecting his family, Kino asks Juana to escape with Coyotito to another place, while Kino tries to mislead the trackers. He knows that they will be safer and stand a better chance if he does that. At the end of the story Kino kills the trackers, with the only intention of safeguarding himself and his family. The trackers are professional bounty, who are merciless and would not hesitate to kill for reward.

I like Kino as he is a person with a vision. Although he is not educated and has no formal education, he wishes his son to be educated. He realises the importance of education as a way for his son to have a better and brighter future. He wishes his son to read, write and count, and be knowledgeable so that they would know what is right and wrong. He wants to know that ‘the things in the books were really in the books’ and does not want to be misled by misinformation provided by people with malicious intents. He wishes for his son to break away from their traditional living hood and be more secure in life.

Kino hopes to bring a great deal of changes to his family and sees a whole new meaning to life. He envisions a well-dressed Juana (with shawl, new skirt and shoes) and Coyotito (blue sailor suit from the United States), and Kino contemplates on owning a rifle and a harpoon. He also looks forward to marrying Juana in the church. All these show that Kino is hopeful of taking his family out of the clutches of poverty and meaninglessness. He is seeing the meaning of hope which makes him very different from the other men in his village. He is wishing to provide the best for his family because he is a loving and caring father and husband. Kino is determined to make a fortune from the pearl that would change their lives forever.

Juana :

The character that I like is Juana, who is Kino’s loving and faithful wife in the novel. Throughout the story, Juana shows that she is a faithful wife and obeys her husband. She prepares food for her family and does not complain. She is with Kino through thick and thin of life and is supportive of him.

Juana shows that she is a loving mother and wife. Her sense of responsibility toward her family is proven as she sucks the scorpion’s poison when Coyotito is stung by a scorpion. She nurses him using seaweeds that she gathers from the sea to ease the swelling and to reduce the effects of the scorpion’s poison. This shows that she treats Coyotito with great love and care, as a mother even without worrying of her own safety.

Juana is very supportive and is with Kino throughout the story, following all of Kino’s instructions. She does not fight back when Kino beats her for trying to throw the pearl away without consulting him.

Juana is instinctive and prophesises that the pearl is evil. She sees the pearl as a source of evil. She tries to reason out with Kino that the pearl would cause great mishap and even tragedy. Juana says that the pearl is like a sin and will destroy them. She wishes for the pearl to be thrown away, broken, or buried, as she fears the pearl would make their life miserable. Although Kino is obsessed with the pearl and sees it as a source of hope, she does not believe that the pearl is going to change their life for the better. She is realistic and knows that the pearl is full of evil.

Juana is also very respectful of Kino and his family, and the community. She shows her respect to the priest and tells him of their intention to get married in the church. She is also religious and keeps praying for the family’s safety.

I like Juana for her because she is practical and is a responsible wife and a mother. She does not complain of her sufferings or the ordeals the family have to go through. Although she is not formally educated, she is very rational and is a strong character.

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