Compare and contrast the relationship between Kino and Juana at the beginning and the end of The Pearl.

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of The Pearl, Juana and Kino seem to have a close relationship.  He describes her as in some ways tougher than himself.

Kino had wondered often at the iron in his patient, fragile wife. She, who was obedient and respectful and cheerful and patient, could bear physical pain with hardly a cry. She could stand fatigue and hunger almost better than Kino himself. (ch 1, p. 4)

Kino acts helpless, but it is Juana who sucks the scorpion venom from the baby’s wound and asks for the doctor.

At the end of the story, Kino and Juana are only somewhat changed by their experiences with the pearl and the baby’s death.  Juana seems more changed than Kino.

Her face was hard and lined and leathery with fatigue and with the tightness with which she fought fatigue. And her wide eyes stared inward on herself. She was as remote and as removed as Heaven. (ch 6, p. 47)

The disagreement over the pearl and the death of the baby has been a blow to their relationship.  Yet despite this, Juana and Kino remain together.  When they stand side by side, they do so both physically and metaphorically.  Kino’s family song rises again, and they are ready to go on with their lives.