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In John Steinbeck's The Pearl, Juana and Kino are poor natives who have to work very hard for a living. Kino is a pearl diver and it is clear that he does not make much money for his family though it is a difficult and dangerous job. The natives are superstitious, and there is ample evidence that they have been treated poorly by the white men who live near them. Only out of desperation for his son's life is Kino willing to have any significant dealings with them.
When Kino finds the magnificent pearl, he and his family are suddenly of interest to nearly everyone around them, many of who have never deigned even to speak to them before now. Everyone wants something from Kino and Juana and this pearl, and they are overwhelmed and suspicious (wary) of their intentions. It is not their experience to have good fortune and people who pay much attention to them, so they are apprehensive and afraid, even, of what this good fortune might bring. Their experience tells them that people cannot be trusted when faced with a temptation such as this pearl. As it turns out, they are right to be wary.
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