Describe the physical traits of Juana in the novel The Pearl.

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Juana is Kino's wife, and readers get a fair amount of her physical description right away in chapter 1. The second paragraph alerts readers to the fact that she has dark eyes. In fact, they are so dark that outside light sources reflect off of them like stars. Dark could...

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be an entire range of colors, so readers are meant to use their imaginations to fill in the color, but I imagine them so dark brown that the pupils are not easily defined.

We are told a bit later that her feet are hard. That could describe the way that her feet hit the ground when walking, but I think it refers to the callouses that have built up from being barefoot a lot. Juana's hair matches her dark eyes. We are told that it is black, but we are not told a specific length. I'm fairly certain her hair is quite long. Readers are told that she has enough hair to braid into two separate braids that she then ties together.

Physically, I don't think it is appropriate to think of her as a small, rail-thin, supermodel type. She is used to hard manual labor, and readers are told multiple times how strong she is. We are specifically told that she can row a canoe like a man, and that tells me her back, arms, and shoulders have clearly defined musculature.

In the canoe she was like a strong man.

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The description that Steinbeck uses when characterizing Juana are scattered throughout the novella.  On the first page of the work, Juana's dark eyes are described as having made "little reflected stars".  This can mean something different to everyone, but to me, it makes me think of them as shiny little orbs.  Her hair is black and long, and in the beginning, she "braided it in two braids and tied the ends with thin green ribbon."  Steinbeck also makes it a point to describe her feet, which are "hard".  Obviously, while this woman is physically beautiful, she is also used to working very hard, and probably does her fair share of manual labor.  She is often described as having a blue shawl on her head, and quite often, she is watching her husband, Kino.  At the end of the novella, her face is described as:

Her face was hard and lined and leathery with fatigue and with the tightness with which she fought fatigue.  And her wide eyes stared inward on herself.  She was as remote and as removed as Heaven.

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