In The Pearl, what does the Song of the Family mean to Kino?

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Kino views the Song of the Family as a strength and an inspiration. Essentially, the Song of the Family incorporates generations of memories inherited from Kino's forebears. To Kino, the Song of the Family represents safety, wholeness, and warmth. It is the very essence of life to him.

The Song of the Family also warns against the "savage" and "dangerous melody" of the Song of Evil; it cries in sorrowful warning before the scorpion bites Coyotito, and it is sung while the baby fights the effects of the scorpion's poison. More than anything, the Song of the Family is a song of hope to Kino. As he fills his basket with oysters, he imagines that the Song of the Pearl That Might Be is embedded as a "sweet and secret and clinging" counter-melody within the Song of the Family.

Immediately after he finds the priceless pearl, the Song of the Family plays in Kino's ear. It reminds him that a great future is in his grasp, but he must be careful to avoid the wrath of the gods against a man who chooses to be successful through his own efforts.

In Chapter Six, as Kino creeps up to the trackers, the Song of the Family is as "fierce and sharp and feline as the snarl of a female puma." It has become a war-song of sorts, propelling Kino towards a desperate battle for the life of his besieged family. Then, after Coyotito's terrible death, the Song of the Family leads another call to battle for Kino. This time, its unrelenting rhythm guides him to the edge of the water, where he will throw the pearl back into the sea.

So, in the story, the Song of the Family represents many things to Kino. It is...

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