Sunday, April 7, 2013
The Pearl-- Questions to Think About... And Discuss!
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.