What is the turning point in The Pearl when Juana realizes the past is gone forever?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The turning point in the novel is in Chapter 5, when Kino kills a man who has attacked him, trying to steal from Kino the pearl of great worth.  When Juana, who has foreseen the trouble the pearl was bound to bring, finds her husband and the man he killed lying in the road, she instinctively knows that "the old peace, of the time before the pearl...(is) gone, and there (is) no retrieving it".  Kino's action in killing the man is irrevocable, and even though he weakly protests to Juana that he was attacked first, and that he "struck to save (his) life", Juana astutely asks him, "Do you think that will matter?  Do you think your explanation will help?"  Kino realizes that his wife is right, that their old life is gone, and they have no choice but to flee.  When he discovers that, in addition to himself being assaulted, his canoe has been maliciously sabotaged, Kino is "tightened...beyond breaking...he (is) an animal now, for hiding, for attacking, and he live(s) only to preserve himself and his family" (Chapter 5).