Write your own reflective response based on Chapter 4 of Pearl by John Steinbeck.  

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Whenever you are asked to give a reflective response on a passage of literature, what is important above all is what you think and feel about it. Therefore it is very dangerous for you to ask for somebody else's feelings and impressions, and each person will respond to a given passage in a different way. Therefore the best answer I can give you is to tell you to read this chapter by yourself, and as you read it, to note down your thoughts and feelings at given moments to specific parts and incidents contained in this chapter. I can give you my reflective response, but that clearly will be different from your own response.

For me, when I read this chapter I feel an incredible sadness about the way in which Kino and his family and fellow villagers live in a world where everything seems to be set against them. Even the finding of pearls, which should help them improve their standard of living, is shown to be yet another opportunity for those above them to exploit and cheat them for their own benefit. Let us remember that this chapter reveals that the series of pearl buyers in the village are actually all owned by one man, and he uses this to ensure that no peasant gets a fair price. Even the attempts of the villagers to contract somebody to take their pearls to the city and get a fair price are shown to be abortive, as in both cases the man concerned ran away with the pearls and did not come back.

This chapter therefore presents us with a very bleak and depressing view of the world, as those with money, power and influence exert it to keep the poor in a state of poverty and to maintain their own position. This chapter does not offer us any hope that this situation will ever change.

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