In The Pearl, who was more in control on page 60 in the novel, Kino or Juana?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since page numbers differ among various editions of the novel, I can't be certain which scene you are referencing, but I believe you most likely are asking about events in Chapter V. When Kino finds Juana trying to throw the pearl back into the sea, he attacks her and beats her. Because Kino is larger and stronger than Juana, it would seem he is in control, but in truth Kino is out of control, filled with rage; he acts much as an animal would, barring his teeth and hissing at Juana "like a snake." Juana, however, looks at him with "wide unfrightened eyes." She does not lose her identity. She accepts his behavior as the subservient wife she is. In this sense, Juana is more in control than is Kino until he regains his senses.

Shortly after this incident, Kino kills the stranger who attacks him, trying to steal the pearl. Kino has been injured in the fight:

Kino moved sluggishly, arms and legs stirred like those of a crushed bug, and a thick muttering came from his mouth.

Juana takes control instantly. She knows that their old life is gone forever and that they must save their own lives. Juana hides the dead man's body and washes Kino's face, bringing him back to consciousness. She comforts him much as she would a child, giving him back the pearl. She tells him that they must flee: "We must be gone before the daylight comes." When Kino argues that he had killed only to defend himself, Juana makes him understand that this will make no difference; they must run. This incident acts as the turning point in the story, and it is Juana who controls the decision-making.