The Pearl Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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What songs has Kino heard in chapter 1 of Steinbeck's The Pearl?

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The Songs of the Indian

John Steinbeck's The Pearl is a parable of Kino who finds the Pearl of the World.  His people have once been creators of songs to express their pride, their happiness, and their successes and loves.  Now, there are no new songs as Kino's people are oppressed; nevertheless, the old songs remain along with some personal songs. 

The Song of the Family

So while the songs of a once proud people have stopped, Kino hears the Song of the Family, music set to the beats of three loving hearts.  His wife Juana sings, too, and hers is also a family song; Kino and Juana are content.  The family song is music of love, warmth, safety.  It is "the Whole," the sense of each belonging to the other.

The Song of Evil

When the scorpion appears, the "evil music of the enemy" appears.  This Song of Evil" is the music of any foe of the family,

"a savage, secret, dangerous melody" that carries with it the plaintive song of the Family."

It is a song of anguish, anxiety, despair, and sickness or death.  When the scorpion bites the baby, Kino beats it to death, but the threatening "Song of the Enemy roars in his ears."

Music is the language of the soul and of the land of a people.  And, while he and his loved ones are content, Kino hears the song of the family,but when his baby in his danger, Kino hears the Song of the Enemy.  Clearly, music is the language of Kino's soul that expresses his love and his fear for his family.


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lee24 | Student

he has heard many songs but the ones in the beginning of the book are the song of the family, the songs of evil, the songs of the undersea and the song of the pearl that might be