Questions and Guide


1.- What is the purpose of the introduction? What does it do?



1.- What significance does repetition (or routine) have in the lives of Kino and Juana?

2.- Describe the song Kino hears in his head.

3.- What does the song he hears represent?

4.- What song does Kino hear when he first sees the scorpion?

5.- What is the meaning of "songs" that come to Kino in his head? What do they represent or symbolize in relation to Kino?

6.- What do the scorpion and the sting of the scorpion foreshadow in the development of the story?

7.- Compare and contrast Kino's and Juana's reactions to the scorpion.

8.- Describe the doctor.

9.- describe the doctor's reactions to Kino's request for medical help.

10.- What is the doctor a prototype or symbol of?      Top


1.- How are the morning air and atmosphere described in the story?

2.- What is the message of the morning description here?

3.- What is Kino's most prized (material) possession?

4.- What is Kino's most prized personal possession, which he does not see?

5.- What new songs does Kino hear in this section, and when?

6.- Describe and contrast Kino's reactions to the oyster.



1.- In what peculiar way is the town described? Repeat the description in detail without copying the very words the author used.

2.- How does the town react to Kino's finding the pearl?

3.- How are Kino and Juana ignorant about the effect of their extraordinary discovery?

4.- What songs does Kino hear in this section, and when does he do so?

5.- What does Kino see in the pearl?

6.- What does Steinbeck concentrate on in his description of the scene of the thief and Kino? Why does he do so?

7.- Contrast Kino's and Juana's reactions at the end of the chapter.      Top



1.- Why are the pearl buyers excited about the pearl?

2.- What does Steinbeck mean when he states that a lot can be learned about a man from the tilt of his hat?

3.- Explain what happened when the pearl-divers of the area attempted to market their pearls collectively?

4.- What is the significance of squinting the eyes in the story?

5.- While in the office, how does Kino suddenly see the pearl? What does it mean, do you think?

6.- Why must Kino go to the capital? Do you agree with his view? Why, or why not?



1.- How has the pearl caused the relationship between Kino and Juana to deteriorate?

2.- How do Juana's and Kino's views contrast in relation to men and women?

3.- How do Juana and Kino differ in character?

4.- How does Juana react to the murder?

5.- Why does the destruction of the canoe represent such a terrible crime to Kino?      Top



1.- What songs does Kino hear in this section? And When?

2.- What does Kino see in the pearl now?

3.- Why doesn't Kino pay attention to these new visions in the pearl?

4.- Compare and contrast Kino's and Juana's reactions to the tracker's.

5.- How does the landscape now contrast with that at the beginning of the story?

6.- What is ironic about the tracker's reaction to Coyotito's cry?

7.- How is Coyotito's death revealed?

8.- How has the granting of Kino's wish become an irony?



1.- How is Kino transformed by the possession of the pearl? From a simple, good man at peace with himself and the world,...

2.- How does Steinbeck use light and dark to create effects and symbol?

3.- Which characters are static and never change in the story? Why?

4.- What does the town's reaction to the discovery of the pearl show you about people and the world?

5.- What do you think Steinbeck attempts to communicate with the scene where Juana prays that Kino find a great pearl?

6.- Describe the different ways in which Juana helps Kino.

7.- What do you think is the main cause of the whole development which ends in tragedy?

8.- What is ironic about the name of the village?

9.- What views does Steinbeck reveal through the story concerning life, human nature, and people in community living?

10.- How does Steinbeck view the concept of reality and human life?


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January 23, 2000.

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