What are some symbols in The Pearl?

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Kino's canoe in The Pearl is a very important symbol as it's one of the few tangible reminders of his people's heritage. The indigenous people have seen their traditional culture gradually eroded over time ever since Spanish colonialists first arrived in the Americas. Yet Kino's canoe has survived, just as...

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Kino's canoe in The Pearl is a very important symbol as it's one of the few tangible reminders of his people's heritage. The indigenous people have seen their traditional culture gradually eroded over time ever since Spanish colonialists first arrived in the Americas. Yet Kino's canoe has survived, just as his cultural memory has survived, handed down from generation to generation. For him, this is a highly prized object. It isn't just an expression of his people's heritage; it's an object of practical use-value that enables him to take to the ocean and provide for his family as a pearl-diver. In doing so, Kino's keeping the age-old traditions alive. The symbol of Kino's canoe also serves to illustrate the intimate connection between the old tribal customs and the traditional family units on which they are based.

The pearl itself symbolizes greed and the pursuit of worldly goods. This represents a radical departure from the traditional life of Kino's people, a much simpler life lived in accordance with the rhythms of nature. The pearl represents the corruption of tribal life and culture by materialistic values that has gradually undermined the age-old traditions by which previous generations of indigenous people lived.

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