What is the meaning of the songs in The Pearl?  

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The songs in this book are important because they add historical and cultural depth to both the setting and the characters. We are told that no new songs are being created, but the old songs remained important.

The songs remained; Kino knew them, but no new songs were added. That does not mean that there were no personal songs. In Kino's head there was a song now, clear and soft, and if he had been able to speak of it, he would have called it the Song of the Family.

The songs themselves serve as a way to more deeply build Kino as a character and his family, and the Song of the Family remains important through various parts of the story. The song serves as a way to remind readers of the thematic importance of family, as well as being important to the family itself. For example, we are told early in the story that a simple three note song was capable of endless variety and therefore was able to endlessly function as a binding tie to the family.

Kino could see these things without looking at...

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