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1. Juana does not consult Kino about getting the doctor when the baby is stung. Yet Juana is a dutiful, submissive woman to Kino in all things: why not in this situation?
“The doctor would not come, Kino said to Juana. She looked up at him, her eyes as cold as the eyes of a lioness. This was Juana’s first baby—this was nearly everything there was in Juana’s world. And Kino saw her determination and the music of the family sounded in his head with a steely tone.
Then we will go to him, Juana said” (Pg. 7)
* Cold eyes of a lioness represent the desperation, and determination she has to save her first-born son. * Juana’s world—is symbolic of what she does as a wife, and a mother. * Steely tone—meaning bright, and full of strength
* Looking up at him—meaning in society that she was below him, as she was a woman and he was a man.
* Not consulting Kino on the decision—the woman’s role in society is to take care of the children. So when the baby was stung, she immediately asked for the doctor because the child was her responsibility. * “Nearly everything” in Juana’s world—meaning Coyotito was not the only thing she cares for, and about.
Kino is the man of the house and it is his responsibility, as a man, to provide for his family. But Juana is a woman, and her responsibility, as a woman, is to take care of Coyotito, and her husband Kino.
When the baby is stung, it is her first instinct as a mother to help her child. “ Juana had the baby in her arms now. She found the puncture with redness starting from it already. She put her lips down over the puncture and sucked hard and spat and sucked again while Coyotito screamed.” (Pg. 6) Juana is not submissive, and dutiful to Kino in this situation because it is her place to care, and see that her baby is safe at all times, and this is why she does not turn to Kino on the matter.
1. Kino has found the “Pearl of the World,” and the baby has recovered. When the doctor comes, why does Kino not send him away? He tells him the baby is cured: why does he relent and believe the doctor’s story that the poison will return?
“ The doctor hurried in, followed by his man. He scattered the old woman like chickens. He took the baby and examined it and felt its head. “The poison has worked,” he said “ I think I can defeat it. I will try my best.” He asked for water, and in the cup he put three drops of ammonia, and he pried open the baby’s mouth and poured it down. The baby spluttered and screeched under the treatment, and Juana watched with haunted eyes. The doctor spoke a little as he worked. “ It is lucky that I know about the poison of the scorpion, otherwise—“ And he shrugged to show what could have happened. (Pg. 34)
* Scattered the old woman like chickens—meaning that they left immediately because the doctor was a big authority figure in the community, and they did not want to get in his way, and they were fearful of what he would do if they stayed. * He “took the baby”—meaning he was taking the child from someone: probably Juana, or Kino. * Pried open the baby’s mouth—meaning the baby was struggling, and resisting the doctor’s treatment. * Shrugged to show what could have happened—meaning that the doctor concluded that without his treatment the baby would have died. * The poison has worked—meaning that the poison is still there and is working its way through the baby’s small body.
Why does Kino relent? Kino backs down when the doctor comes in, because he wants to be certain that his baby is totally healed, and that the poison is all gone for certain. Kino also wants to know if the doctor knows about his good fortune of finding the pearl. “The doctor was closing his bag now. He said, “When do you think you can pay this bill?” He said it even kindly. “When I have sold my pearl I will pay you,” Kino said “you have a pearl?” the doctor asked with interest.” (Pg.35) Kino knew then that the doctor knew about the pearl before he came; the doctor never would have come if he had not known about the pearl, and that Kino could pay for he treatment.
2. Before they begin their journey, Kino and Juana rest for the night. When she thinks he sleeps, Juana steals away to the ocean with the pearl. Hoping to throw it into the water before it can bring more evil. What do you infer about Juana from this action?
“Quietly he tracked her, and his brain was red with anger. She burst clear out of the brush line and stumbled over the little boulders towards the water, and then she heard him coming and she broke into a run. Her arm was up to throw when he leaped at her and caught her arm and wrenched the pearl from her.” (Pg.58-59)
* Tracked her—meaning that he was in pursuit of Juana. * Brain was red with anger—meaning that Kino was so beside himself, that he would so anything to get the pearl back. * Little boulders—meaning that the boulders, normally large in size, were small things in her way, and she moved towards the water. * Heard his coming, and broke into a run—meaning that she was scared of Kino catching her, and so she ran to get away from him. * Leaped/wrenched—meaning that he was desperate to grasp hold of the “Pearl of the World”.
What do I infer about Juana from her actions? I presume that the reason she wanted to be rid of the pearl was because the pearl was evil in her eyes, and was the thing that was destroying their family. “ Kino this pearl is evil. Let us destroy it before it destroys us. Let us crush it between two stones. Let us—let us throw it back in the sea where it belongs. Kino, it is evil, it is evil!” (Pg. 56-57) I can tell that Juana is trying to do the wright thing by getting rid of the one thing that is weighing their family down.
6. Why do you think the pearl buyers appear as a group, with only one physically describe what inference can you draw from their close association as a group?
“It was supposed that the pearl buyers were individuals acting alone, bidding against one another for the pearls the fishermen brought in. and once it had been so. But this was a wasteful method, for often, in the excitement of the bidding for a fine pearl, too great a price had been paid to the fishermen. This was extravagant and not to be countenanced. Now there was only one pearl buyer with many hands and the men who sat in their offices and waited for Kino knew what price they would offer, how high they would bid, and what method each one would use.” (Pg. 42)
* It was supposed—meaning that all the villagers “thought” that this was so. * Wasteful method—meaning that going against each other was a waste because they always gave too much money away. * Not to be countenanced—meaning not to be repeated.
* One pearl buyer with many hands—meaning that there were many offices but there was one big boss, who collected everything in the end. * What method they would use—meaning, in what method they would use to trick Kino into selling the pearl for a very low price
What inference can I draw from their close association as a group? It sounds as if their “group” is greedy, and wants to get lots, while only giving a little. But their plan to go together instead of betting against each other, is smart because they were not only paying the fishermen way to much for the pearl, they were loosing money themselves. But now they are taking away the money that the fishermen deserve and depend on for living. “Quite apart from any rewards they might get, from any word of praise, from any promotion, a pearl buyer was a pearl buyer, and the best and happiest pearl buyer was he who bought for the lowest prices” (Pg.42)
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