What happens to the baby Coyotito early in chapter 1 of John Steinbeck's The Pearl?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In chapter 1, Kino and his wife, Juana, wake up on a beautiful morning and go through their regular routine to start the day. After the couple finishes eating breakfast, they notice a tiny movement coming from Coyotito's hanging basket. Kino and Juana freeze as they watch a scorpion slowly crawl down the rope toward their infant son. Kino begins to hear the Song of Evil as Juana repeats an ancient magic spell and mutters a Hail Mary to protect her son. Kino moves smoothly and silently toward his son's basket but cannot prevent the scorpion from stinging Coyotito. When Coyotito shakes the rope attached to his basket, the scorpion falls on him and stings his shoulder. Kino then kills the scorpion as Juana attempts to suck the venom from her child's shoulder. Kino and Juana take their son to the doctor in the village, but he refuses to see them because they are poor Natives. It is only after Kino finds the Pearl of the World that the doctor agrees to see Coyotito.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Baby Coyoitio, the son of Kino and Juana, faces a dangerous situation in chapter one of John Steinbeck's The Pearl. The chapter opens with Kino walking into the morning sun and Juana making breakfast. The text illustrates how much Kino's family means to him as it shows him becoming overwhelmed by his love for them.

Kino returns to the house as Juana continues to prepare breakfast. Kino then eats his breakfast, and Juana beings to eat hers. As Kino looks toward Coyoitio's crib, he notices a scorpion on the rope (which leads into the crib). Although he tries hard to catch the scorpion before it can reach Coyoitio, the scorpion falls onto the baby's shoulder and stings him. This scorpion sting could kill the baby.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team