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The Pearl

John Steinbeck

Chapter 6

Chapter 5

Chapter 6, page 2

page 1 of 3

Summary

And once some large animal lumbered away, crackling the undergrowth as it went. And Kino gripped the handle of the big working knife and took a sense of protection from it.

(See Important Quotations Explained)

On a clear, windy night, Kino, Juana, and Coyotito begin their long march north, avoiding the sleeping town. Outside of town, they follow a road, carefully walking in a wheel rut to conceal their tracks. They walk all night and make camp in a roadside shelter at sunrise. After eating a small breakfast, Juana rests until midday. Kino spots a cluster of ants and lays down his foot as an obstacle. The ants climb over it, and he keeps his foot in place and watches them scale it.

When Juana rises, she asks Kino if he thinks they will be pursued. Juana then begins to doubt Kino’s conviction that the pearl is worth far more than the dealers offered, but Kino points out that his attackers would not have tried to steal the pearl were it worth nothing. Kino stares at the pearl to read his future. He lies to Juana, telling her that he sees a rifle, a marriage in a church, and an education for Coyotito. In truth Kino sees a body bleeding on the ground, Juana making her way home through the night after being beaten, and Coyotito’s face swollen as though he were sick.

The family retreats farther into the shade for another rest. While Kino sleeps soundly, Juana is restless. As she plays with Coyotito, Kino wakes from a dream and demands that they keep quiet. Creeping forward, he spots a trio of trackers pursuing their trail. Kino stiffens and attempts to be still and silent until the trackers have passed. He watches them grow nearer and prepares to spring on them with his knife if necessary. Juana also hears the approaching trackers and does her best to quiet Coyotito.

The trackers’ horse grows excited as the trackers approach the shelter. For a moment, it appears that they are poised to apprehend Coyotito and Juana, but eventually they lose their lead on the trail and move on. Kino realizes that it is only a matter of time before they return, and he runs quickly to Juana, telling her to gather up her things so that they can leave at once. Suddenly, Kino feels their cause to be hopeless and loses his will to flee, but Juana castigates him for giving up on his family. Finally, Kino suggests that they might be able to lose the trackers up in the mountains.

Kino and Juana collect their belongings and flee with Coyotito through the undergrowth, making no effort to conceal their tracks. As they climb the first rises, Kino realizes that the distance he is putting between his family and the trackers offers only a temporary fix to their problem. When Juana takes a rest with Coyotito, Kino proposes that she hide while he moves on ahead. Until the trackers have been diverted, she can take refuge in a nearby town. But, despite Kino’s insistence, Juana refuses to split up, so the family moves on together.

As their ascent grows steeper, Kino attempts to vary and double back on their route to mislead the trackers. As the sun begins to set, Kino and Juana reach a nearby cleft and replenish their water supply at a pool and stream, where they drink to contentment, and Juana rinses Coyotito. From the lookout, Kino spies the trackers at a distance below, hurrying up the slope. Juana also realizes that they are still being pursued.

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I would like to know reference of author

by cubillos97, May 06, 2014

I need to cite sources I used to gather information, and I can't seem to find any identification of author.

2 Comments

4 out of 15 people found this helpful

I would like to know reference of author

by cubillos97, May 06, 2014

I need to cite sources I used to gather information, and I can't seem to find any identification of author.

0 Comments

1 out of 2 people found this helpful

Kino greedy?

by MaxwellLint, October 01, 2014

I fail to see how Kino is greedy. Kino's dreams of rifles and new clothes were for his family. He wanted a rifle and a harpoon so that he could obtain food for his family. He wanted new clothes so that his family would be accepted by society. Most of all, he wanted Coyotito to get an education so that Kino and his people would learn the truth- how they've been lied to by the colonists. If Coyotito got an education, he would be able to see how wrong everything was, and through him, Kino.

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8 out of 12 people found this helpful

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