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How many songs are mentioned in John Steinbeck's The Pearl?

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lkehoe | Valedictorian

Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:23 PM via web

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How many songs are mentioned in John Steinbeck's The Pearl?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:54 PM (Answer #1)

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This is, in reality, sort of a trick question. In chapter one of John Steinbecks' The Pearl the narrator states that all of the songs sung are considered part of the Whole. Therefore, if looking at the question from this perspective, only one song is sung. 

Another trick to this question is that Kino recognized life as songs. For example, the cooking of breakfast was a song too. Therefore, if looked at in this light, there are far too many songs to name because everything is a song. 

The first actual song mentioned in John Steinbecks' The Pearl appears in chapter one. Here, Juana sings "The Song of the Family." Very soon afterward, she begins to sing an "ancient song that had only three notes." 

Later, when the scorpion approaches Coyotito, the "Song of Evil"  and the "Song of the Enemy" are both heard.

Other songs heard in the novella are as follows.

-"The Song of the That Might Be"

-"The Song of the Undersea"

Therefore, there are three answers to the question: 1) too many songs to count (for everything is a song); 2) only one song (because everything is part of a single song); or 3) there are four songs (as named above).  

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