The Pearl Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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What impression does Kino make on the reader in the first chapter of The Pearl? In the first chapter, readers are introduced to Kino as he faces a very serious situation—the poisoning of his son by a scorpion. Describe Kino’s behavior in this chapter and the initial impression he makes on readers based on this behavior.  

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The first chapter depicts Kino as somewhat useless in an emergency.  He does not keep a cool head, and he feels and acts useless and pointless.

Kino is "a primitive character who will fail to benefit from the opportunity chance has afforded him to become enlightened" (enotes character analysis, Kino).  At the beginning of the chapter, the mood is tranquil.  It seems like Kino is happy, and that he and his wife are in love.  Kino imagines songs which connect him with his ancestors.

They had spoken once, but there is not need for speech if it is only a habit anyway. Kino sighed with satisfaction - and that was conversation. (ch 1, p. 3)

This scene of domestic tranquility is interrupted when the stream of sunlight hits the rope on the baby’s box, and they see the scorpion.  Juana mouths a charm, by Kino jumps into action.

Kino's hand leaped to catch it, but it fell past his fingers, fell on the baby's shoulder, landed...

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