protagonist of the novella. Kino is a dignified, hardworking, impoverished
native who works as a pearl diver. He is a simple man who lives in
a brush house with his wife, Juana, and their infant son, Coyotito, both
of whom he loves very much. After Kino finds a great pearl, he becomes
increasingly ambitious and desperate in his mission to break free
of the oppression of his colonial society. Ultimately, Kino’s material ambition
drives him to a state of animalistic violence, and his life is reduced
to a basic fight for survival.
in-depth analysis of Kino.
young wife. After her prayers for good fortune in the form of a
giant pearl are answered, Juana slowly becomes convinced that the
pearl is in fact an agent of evil. Juana possesses a simple faith
in divine powers, but she also thinks for herself. Unfortunately
for her and her child, Coyotito, she subjects her desires to those
of her dominant husband and allows Kino to hold on to the pearl.
in-depth analysis of Juana.
and Juana’s only son, who is stung by a scorpion while resting in
a hammock one morning. Because Coyotito is an infant, he is helpless
to improve his situation and thus at the mercy of those who provide for
him. Kino and Juana’s efforts to save him by finding a big pearl
with which they can pay a doctor prove to do more harm than good.
older brother. Deeply loyal to his family, Juan Tomás supports Kino
in all of his endeavors but warns him of the dangers involved in
possessing such a valuable pearl. He is sympathetic to Kino and
Juana, however, putting them up when they need to hide and telling
no one of their whereabouts.
Tomás’s wife and the mother of four children. Like her husband,
Apolonia is sympathetic to Kino and Juana’s plight, and she agrees
to give them shelter in their time of need.
small-time colonial who dreams of returning to a bourgeois European
lifestyle. The doctor initially refuses to treat Coyotito but changes
his mind after learning that Kino has found a great pearl. He represents
the arrogance, condescension, and greed at the heart of colonial
local village priest ostensibly represents moral virtue and goodness,
but he is just as interested in exploiting Kino’s wealth as everyone
else, hoping that he can find a way to persuade Kino to give him
some of the money he will make from the pearl.
extremely well-organized and corrupt pearl dealers in La Paz systematically
cheat and exploit the Indian pearl divers who sell them their goods.
They desperately long to cheat Kino out of his pearl.
group of violent and corrupt men that follows Kino and Juana when
they leave the village, hoping to waylay Kino and steal his pearl.