"The Pearl" Discussion Guide
1. Describe Kino and Juana's life before and after
the discovery of the pearl.
2. The Theme of Greed.
What did they value?
What goals were important to them?
What were their dreams?
3. Character Analysis.
How does greed affect Kino, Juana, and the villagers and
What lessons can be learned about being greedy?
Did Kino and Juana learn any lessons about greed?
4. The pearl as a symbol.
Analyze the characters of the doctor, the priest, and
the pearl merchants.
How are they victims of greediness?
How do their actions show their greediness?
Explain how they treat Kino and Juana before and after
of the pearl.
What judgments can be concluded regarding the fields of
religion and business?
5. Kino's Songs.
What does the pearl represent?
How does the meaning of the pearl change during the course
of the novel?
How do the characters view this pearl in the beginning
and end of the novel?
6. The canoe as symbol.
What are the songs that Kino hears during the novel?
What do each represent?
At what point does he hear them?
7. Kino and Juana's values.
Kino believes that it would be better to kill a person
than to kill a canoe
because a canoe has no relatives to revenge it. What
types of values does
Kino have to make such a statement?
8. The Book's Ending.
Kino and Juana live on a primitive level in their lives
and their religion,
yet they both want a church wedding and a christening
How are these values consistent with their lives?
How are they contradictory?
What do you think happens to Kino and Juana after they
return to their village
and throw the pearl into the ocean?
Will they be accepted or punished?
Will they run away once again?
Copyright © 1999 Pat Swenson
Revised -- February 7, 1999 [PJS]