What are three examples of repetition in the first four chapters of The Pearl?
Critic Todd M. Lieber describes Steinbeck's talent as one that
"penetrate[s] to the sources of human thought and behavior and present in the form of some objective correlative the archetypal and mythopoeic knowledge that lies deep in the mystery of human experience."
The objective correlative in The Pearl, is, of course, the Pearl of the World. Throughout the narrative, John Steinbeck employs repetition since human thought and behavior certainly involve much repetition.
1. One such behavior that is often repeated is singing, the vocal release of emotion. Steinbeck writes that
Kino's people had sung of everything that happened or existed.
In Chapter I Kino hears "the Song of the Family" from behind him as he squats outside the door to his home. Later, a new song comes to him, "the Song of Evil," music of the enemy, also referred to as "the Song of the Enemy." In Chapter III, the music of the pearl that Kino discovers "rises like a chorus of trumpets in his ear":
And the music of the pearl had merged with the music of the family so that one beautified the other.
Yet, as Kino imagines what the discovery of this Pearl of the World can do for his son, the "melody of the morning, the music of evil, of the enemy" enters his head. And, Kino becomes suspicious of his neighbors. Then, again when he takes his pearl to the dealers in order to sell it, Kino still hears "in his ears the evil music." Having become angered at the pearl dealers, Kino takes the pearl home, buries it, and talks with his brother, Juan Thomas; yet, after his brother is gone, Kino once more hears "the dark music of the enemy."
2. Other repeated behaviors are those of Juana. For, she uses her shawl to cover the baby to protect him after he is bitten in Chapter I; then, in Chapter II, after...
(The entire section contains 633 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial