Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Pearl-- Questions to Think About... And Discuss!

LOTS to discuss with this book!  Read through these questions and be thoughtful about answering a handful of them.  Please try to post before Thursday's meeting!

1.  Define parable (remember, we talked about this!).  Why does Steinbeck draw our attention to this in the preface?

2.  On pages3-4 Kino has arisen and the day has begun. What is this song he hears and what does it suggest about how he is feeling this morning?

3.  What race do you suppose the doctor is of?  What does the doctor’s comment on page 13 reveal about his attitude toward Indians?

4.  How is a pearl formed?

5.  How does the news of the pearl affect a) the priest, b) the shopkeepers, c) the doctor, and d) the beggars?

6.  How does the news of the pearl compared to the poisonous sting of the scorpion?

7.  As the doctor approaches, why is Kino feeling rage?

8.   Why is there no longer any real competition among the pearl buyers?

9.  On page 52 it says, “(Kino) had lost one world and had not gained another.” What world did he lose?

10.  Why will it not matter that Kino killed a man in self-defense?

 11. On page 66, Steinbeck says Kino was being moved by “some animal thing.” What does he mean by this?
12.  Who does Kino see in the road? Why does he say they will be back?

13. How are the mountain pools places of both life and death for the animals in the area?

14. In their return to the village, what is unusual in the manner that they are walking? What might this signify?

15. In Chapter 1 when Kino first looked at the pearl he saw a church wedding for Juana and himself. On page 86 what does he see in the pearl now?

16. What action do Kino and Juana take at the end of this story? Why?

17.  If you assume that Kino threw the pearl back because he felt guilty, then what does the pearl symbolize and what is the lesson that this parable is teaching?

18. If you assume that Kino threw the pearl back out of rage and frustration then what does the pearl symbolize and what is the lesson to be learned?

19. Steinbeck is often associated with a movement in writing called naturalism. Naturalists believed that man does not have free will; rather man’s fate is determined by large social and economic forces he cannot control. If that is the case, what is the lesson to be learned?

20. On the other hand, you may see the pearl as a symbol of something else with a different lesson to be learned. If that is so, write what you think that might be.

Mrs. P


Divya Bhat said...

I haven't finished the book yet, so I can't answer many of these questions. But her is my answer to number 7.

Kino is feeling rage, when the doctor approached, because of the fact that the doctor only came once he heard the news of the pearl. Before obtaining the large pearl. Kino only had a few small pearl to give in return of curing Coyotito. But now, the doctor knew that Kino had found the "Pearl of the World",and this could make the doctor very rich.

Mrs. P said...

Good answer, Divya! The doctor didn't want anything to do with Kino-- or his very sick son-- before he had the pearl, but now that Kino has big money in his pocket, he's suddenly important enough to make a house call. That would infuriate me!

Dhruv Patel said...

I have finished the book, but it is confusing. I will answer no. 9

This means that Kino and his family lost their old world, where they were poor. Now after he got a pearl, he thinks of selling the pearl and getting a new and better world. But no one in his town is buying the pearl, so he lost his old world, but he did not gain the world he was thinking about yet.

Mrs. P said...

What part confused you, Dhruv? What questions do you have? Let's chat about it!
Mrs. P

Dhruv Patel said...

I will ask this thursday