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Chapter 3 Notes from The Pearl

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The Pearl Chapter 3

Word spreads quickly about Kino's good fortune among his neighbors and into the town. The news spread to the priest who thinks that it would be good to have that wealth for the church. Shopkeepers eye their men's clothing in hopes of making a sale. The doctor also hears of Kino's pearl, and when he realizes who Kino is, he says that Kino is his client. The thought of the pearl makes the doctor dream of Paris again. The buyers hear word of Kino's pearl and think of how they will offer him only the lowest price he can stand. Their job is to get the Indians to give over their pearls for less than their actual value by working together with the other pearl buyers in the city. Because there are three pearl agents, it seems that they are in competition for the pearls, but they all actually work for one man and in this way they are able to cheat the locals out of their pearls for very little money.

Topic Tracking: Evil 3

As people hear the news of Kino's pearl, everyone thinks about what all they could do with that pearl and they grow greedy. Kino is the only thing that stands between them and the pearl and so he becomes their enemy without his realizing it. That night with his neighbors gathered round, Kino looks into the pearl to see which of his dreams it will grant. He says that he and Juana will be married in the church; they will all have new clothes; and perhaps he will buy himself a rifle. But the grandest dream in the surface of the pearl is an education for Coyotito. If Coyotito could read what was written in the great books, then his family could not be taken advantage of anymore because of their lack of education. The neighbors listen to the plans of the pearl with reverence and realize that whether fortune or misfortune follow Kino and his family from now on, time will be dated according to the pearl.

The priest enters Kino's house and the Song of Evil follows close behind him. Kino is uncertain of who brought it, but he can hear the evil song softly behind the priest's questions about the pearl. Juana tells the priest that they are planning to marry, and he is satisfied that they will do good things with their newfound wealth. He leaves and the neighbors disperse to their homes for supper. Kino feels very alone and vulnerable because the pearl has pushed him toward a new experience; it has forced him to make plans. "A plan is a real thing, and things projected are experienced. A plan once made and visualized becomes a reality along with other realities -- never to be destroyed but easily to be attacked." Chapter 3, pg. 37 And Kino knows that the gods do not care for men's plans. They do not like men's success either, unless it is accidental, and they will take revenge against the man who is successful by his own design.

Topic Tracking: Superstition 4

The doctor comes to Kino's hut to care for Coyotito, pretending that he'd been out when they came to see him earlier. Despite Coyotito's improvement, the doctor insists that he might still be infected with the poison. Kino doesn't know if the doctor is lying or not, and he is unable to risk not accepting the doctor's advice, so he allows the man to give the baby a dose of some white powder from his bag. The doctor tells Kino and Juana that the scorpion's poison will strike within the hour and he will come back later. The doctor returns to his home and eats supper while he waits for the powder to kick in. While the doctor is gone, Kino wraps the pearl in cloth and buries it in a corner of the hut near a post for safekeeping. Soon Coyotito suffers stomach cramps like those he might have had from the scorpion sting, had much poison gotten into his blood. Neighbors gather at Kino's hut again. The doctor returns eventually and gives Coyotito another potion to end the cramping. He asks Kino how he will pay for the treatment, pretending that he does not know about the great pearl. As the neighbors assure the doctor that Kino will be a rich man because of the pearl he found, the doctor offers to keep the pearl safe for Kino. Kino declines, but the doctor watches his eyes, expecting them to look toward the place where the pearl is buried. Sure enough, Kino's eyes flick toward the side post of the hut.

Topic Tracking: Family 3
Topic Tracking: Evil 4

When everyone leaves the hut, Kino digs up the pearl and buries it under his sleeping mat. He tells Juana that he is afraid of everyone and he feels an isolating hardness come over him; Kino is becoming wary of everyone. He awakes that night because someone is in the hut, and when he attacks the intruder who was digging near the side post of the hut, he is hit in the head. The intruder escapes, and Juana takes care of Kino's cut while a cold hatred builds in him toward those who try to cheat him. Juana warns Kino that the pearl is evil, and that it will destroy them. She tells him that they should throw it back into the sea before it brings any more evil to them, but Kino refuses. He insists that the pearl is their chance to give their son an education, to help him break out of the chains of ignorance that bind Kino's people. Juana insists that the pearl will destroy Coyotito as well, but Kino hushes her and tells her that they will sell the pearl the next day and the evil will leave them. As the morning creeps in, Kino digs up his pearl and looks into it. It holds within it the promise of peace and security, and he smiles. Because she loves her husband so much that he has become a part of her, Juana smiles with him, and the sun rises upon a day of promise for Kino and his family.

Topic Tracking: Superstition 5

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