The Pearl Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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In The Pearl, what are some examples of animal imagery in chapter one?  

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After little Coyotito is stung by the scorpion, Kino and Juanita take him to the town to seek medical treatment. It's notable that Steinbeck uses animal imagery to highlight the differences between the town and the natural environment where Kino and his family live. That fateful morning had resounded as always to the excited chattering of birds. Out here by the beach, where Kino makes his living, the birds are free as nature intended.

Contrast that with the caged birds, chirping away in the town's secret gardens. The suggestion here is that the town is a place where life is more restricted, less spontaneous than in the natural world. The town is an artificial place where the forces of nature are controlled to serve the interests of man. This is symbolized by both the secret gardens and the cages in which the birds sing. The caged birds also hint at the exploitative attitude towards nature held by the people of the town, including the doctor. This attitude will be starkly illustrated later...

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