Have you ever heard the saying
Have you ever heard the saying, “Never let greed overtake you?” Well this quote directly ties into Kino, the main character in “The Pearl” by John Steinbeck. Throughout the book, Kino went through a series of changes due to his desire for money. Kino was just simple hard-working mexican diver caring for his wife, Juana and his infant son, Coyotito. One day Kino went diving and he found a magnificent pearl that created dreams for Kino such as, giving his family a better life away from their old impoverished life and to afford other luxuries for his family as needed. These dreams blinds him with greed and triggers the events that end to a terrible tragedy. Kino’s persona immensely changes throughout these experiences in many ways. Kino changed from an animal of prey, to a predator, to finally a ruthless killing machine due to his attachment to the pearl.
In the first few chapters of the novel, Kino was portrayed as an animal of prey to the rich. One of the first people that Kino was clearly targeted by, was the doctor. During the beginning of the book, Kino’s son, Coyotito was stung by a scorpion and when Kino went to get aid from the doctor, he was utterly shut down. Although, after Kino found the pearl, the doctor came to “heal” the baby. This event was was connected in the passage after by multiple examples of animals being preyed upon. “Out in the estuary a tight woven school of small fishes glittered and broke water to escape a school of great fishes that drove in to eat them(32).” This example effectively compared to Kino being preyed on by the doctor. Kino also became a prey to the pearl buyers, who were compared to wolves and vultures. “He felt the creeping of fate, the circling of wolves, the hover of vultures(50).” This showed the fear that Kino felt from the pearl buyers. Lastly, Kino was directly connected to animals of prey when he was escaping his trackers. “And Kino ran for the high place, as nearly animals do when they are pursued(76).” This quote presented Kino’s high risk of capture, similar to animals of prey. These examples are only some examples of how Kino is portrayed as an animal of prey.
After some of Kino’s harsh experiences, he started to develop some animalistic behaviors, lifting a curtain for a more violent nature for Kino. This was mainly sparked by his attachment to the pearl. This was first shown when Juana tried to to destroy the pearl, which was aggressively prevented by Kino. “Kino looked down at her and his teeth bared. He hissed at her like a snake(59)…” The comparison of Kino to a snake, predator-like characteristics. Kino also showed this when he was running through the woods in a very wild way, when Juana and Coyotito were in the cave. In page 81,”…clawing and tearing at the ferns and wild grape as he went.” This shows the animal-like way he started to do things. Finally, when Kino went to kill the trackers, he showed the cautious animal-like approach to killing a prey. “And Kino crept silently as a shadow down the smooth mountain surface(85).” This shows how dangerous of a predator he is, when sneaking up on the trackers. The pearl created a predator-like characteristic in Kino due to his attachment to it. As his brother-in-law said, the pearl has possessed Kino.