The Pearl

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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Kino's Attitudes Brave, stubborn, and bright are the three characteristics that help explain Kino's changing attitudes. In John Steinbeck's story The Pearl, Kino, the main character, is being portrayed as a stubborn man who becomes brave and bright, to know and confront his enemies. First, he portrays a stubborn man by not listening to Juana when she tells him that the pearl is evil. Second, Kino shows bravery when he goes down and kills the trackers to save his family.. Finally, he becomes bright by realizing the pearl is evil and how he becomes a hero.

Throughout the story, Kino changes his attitudes about the way he perceives things. First, being stubborn is one of his traits. The pearl is an evil thing and he hasn't realized that just yet. Juana tells him: " Kino this pearl is evil. Let us destroy it before it destroys us." With this, the thought sticks in Kino's mind, but he still doesn't change his views about the pearl.

An example if this would be when he gets very angry because Juana us throwing out the pearl. After the beating, Juana thinks about what a man is.

She says, " It meant he was half insane and half god. It meant that he would drive his strength against the sea, the mountain would stand while the man broke himself; that the sea would surge while the man drowned in it." She then realized that she needed Kino so she decided to support the decisions he made. This shows the beginning of Kino's change into a real man.

Being brave is an example of a trait describing a hero. Kino saves his family from the trackers by killing all three of them. The author describes him by saying, " He Kratochvil 2 grasped the rifle even as he wrenched free his knife. His strength and his movement and his speed were a machine." Kino portrays a modern day hero that people may think as, like a fictious character superman. When he realizes that they had shot Coyotito in the head, he showed how brave he could really be. The writer describes his actions by saying: " The great knife swung and crunched hollowly. It bit through and deep into his chest." Bravery is in the eye of the beholder, is it brave to stand up and fight or to just walk away? Kino chooses to stand and fight, which in this case is the better decision.

Finally, as Kino has evolved into a real man he realizes that he is bright. Kino knows now the pearl is evil and he must destroy it. Which the author says, " And Kino drew back his arm and flung the pearl with all his might." This shows that he is becoming strong and willing to deal with the past and move on. The pearl had meaning, and as he threw it he realized its meaning evil. The author gives a vivid description of where the pearl lands, " And the pearl settled into the lovely green water and dropped toward the bottom." This is where the pearl belongs, so that no one can have to deal with the evil it may bring upon them.

The story The Pearl, written by John Steinbeck, portrays Kino's heroic ways and how he deals with his enemies. The way Kino starts out, the reader would think of him as a person that would not be a hero. Despite the way that Kino turns out in the end, being a brave man and sacrificing his life for his family he turns out to be a good guy after all. The reader can see his changes in his attitudes and the way he handles certain situations. In this story brave, stubborn, and brightness take a major part in Kino's character and help the reader understand his actions.