How does Kino's perspective change throughout The Pearl?  

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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the beginning, Kino places great hope on the pearl, believing that it will change his future and that of his family. He believes that this will give him some freedom that he never knew he did not have. He was perfectly content before finding the pearl, but after his discovery he realizes that there are some things that will make his life (and those of his wife and child) much better. He begins to experience discontent. When he goes to the pearl merchants, he becomes cynical and skeptical, sure that they will try to cheat him (as indeed they do). He is not content with the price they offer. His discontent increases; the merchants in the city will give him a better price. He distrusts his wife, believing that she is trying to take the pearl away from him. More and more he doubts the honesty of those around him. All his trust is in the pearl, not in those around him, even those he loves. In the end, Kino loses his child and willingly gives up the pearl. It will not return his child to him, but he recognizes that it is the pearl that has brought such discontent into his life. His perspective has gone from contentedness and happiness to sorrow, doubt, and loss. He will not be able to regain all that he has lost; he hopes for merely a return to his simple life.