What is Kino's most valuable possession in chapter 2 of The Pearl?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Kino’s canoe is his most valuable possession in chapter 2.

Kino is very poor.  He lives in a hut and looks for pearls for a living. He is unable to pay for his baby’s medicine when he gets bitten by a scorpion.

Kino and Juana came slowly down to the beach and to Kino's canoe, which was the one thing of value he owned in the world. It was very old. (ch 2)

Kino’s grandfather brought the canoe from Nayarit, Mexico.  He passed it to Kino’s father, who passed it to him.  It is his only mode of transportation, his only property, and his only income all rolled in one.  It is his only protection against starvation, “for a man with a boat can guarantee a woman that she will eat something.”

Until Kino finds the pearl, this is his life.  Unfortunately, finding it does not help him much because it is worth so much that he can't sell it.  As a result, many people try to take advantage of him.  Everyone wants something from him, thinking he is a rich man.  Yet he can't buy medicine or feed his family with his valuable pearl.  The canoe is still worth more in the end.

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