Examine Kino's reaction after the doctor's servant shuts the gate on him in The Pearl.

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gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the doctor’s servant rebuffs Kino, his reaction is notable. At first he just stands, then he puts his hat back on and, most unexpectedly, strikes the door so violently with his fist that he cuts his hand.

By striking this blow, Kino shows just how enraged he really is, although he shows no other sign. So he shows both submissiveness and anger in his reaction. The submissiveness is particularly suggested by the reference to his ‘suppliant hat’ (chapter 1). A suppliant is one who asks meekly for help from people in authority. This is what Kino has done, but as he has failed, he gives way to his rage.

This duality in Kino’s attitude is also apparent when he first arrives at the doctor’s door with his request, when he is described as raising the door knocker with ‘rage’, with one hand, while docilely taking off his hat, as a mark of respect, with the other.

Kino’s surprise at his own action in striking the door is evident:

He looked down in wonder at his split knuckles and the blood that flowed down between his fingers. (chapter 1)

This shows that Kino is not aware of the strength of his own passions. It seems he struck the door quite involuntarily. Kino therefore is not really able to control his emotions.