How does Steinbeck show Kino's awareness and understanding of animals in The Pearl?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Kino shows an awareness of animals by his interpretations of their behavior.

As a native living village life, Kino spends a lot of time around animals.  He can tell what they are thinking from their behavior, or at least he thinks he can.  He often attributes thoughts and motivations to their behaviors as he witnesses them.

In chapter 1, Kino interprets the pigs’ and roosters’ actions.  The pigs are looking for bits of food that might have been overlooked, and the roosters are fighting.

Near the brush fence two roosters bowed and feinted at each other with squared wings and neck feathers ruffed out. It would be a clumsy fight. (ch 1)

Kino uses personification to describe the roosters.  They “bowed and feinted” like two boxers in a fight.  He therefore compares their actions to humans fighting.  This demonstrates an understanding, or an imagined understanding, of the animals' behavior and motivations.

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