In The Pearl by John Steinbeck, how could Kino have managed the Pearl of the World better if he had had more education?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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While having an education would certainly open new avenues of thinking and understanding for Kino, he would still be confronted with the problems of class and race that place him at a disadvantage with the pearl dealers in the city. Steinbeck himself explains the repressive society in which Kino finds himself when he seeks a doctor for his baby:

This doctor was of a race which for nearly four hundred years had beaten and starved and robbed and despised Kino's race, and frightened it too, so that the indigene came humbly to his door.

Perhaps, then, with the enlightened mind that education would provide Kino, he would understand better his oppressors and realize that he must seek someone who would be neutral to the racial antipathy, someone who would simply be interested in his own financial gain without regard to who wants to sell the pearl and who desires it. This man would be of a third race not involved in the social conflicts of Kino's country. Also, because of his schooling and exposure to others, Kino would be more likely to be acquainted with such an outsider, or at least know someone else who might be able to find such a man. With only the incentive of a personal profit offered him by Kino, this negotiator, then, should strive to make the best deal he can for Kino in order to receive a handsome commission. He could even pretend that he is the owner of the pearl, and he simply wants to sell it.

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