What is the role of music in Steinbeck's novel The Pearl?

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Music plays a significant role in Kino's life, and the imaginary songs he hears at various moments throughout the story correspond to his surrounding atmosphere, reflect his emotions, and set the mood for various situations. Steinbeck writes,

Kino's people had sung of everything that happened or existed. They had made songs to the fishes, to the sea in anger and to the sea in calm, to the light and the dark and the sun and the moon, and the songs were all in Kino and in his people—every song that had ever been made, even the ones forgotten (9).

The songs that Kino hears also underscore the oral nature of his native culture and emphasize his emotions. For example, Kino hears the Song of the Family while Juana makes breakfast and he stares at the tranquil ocean. The Song of the Family is both soothing, calm, and comforting, which corresponds to Kino's feelings of satisfaction at the beginning of the story. In contrast, Kino hears the Song of Evil whenever he feels threatened and his...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 565 words.)

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