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THEMES

The theme of a novel refers to the main idea or concern in a story.

For the exam, you must be able to:

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explain the themes in the story

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draw conclusion about the themes

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connect the themes in the story to specific characters in the novel

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discuss and relate these themes to your own life and society as a whole

 

 

 

 

 

Greed and Selfishness

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The doctor refuses to treat Coyotito because he will no work for free (p. 11).

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The doctor is only interested in treating Coyotito after he learns about the great pearl that Kino has discovered (p. 29).

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The attackers and trackers attempt to steal the pearl from Kino (pp. 37, 54, 58 and 80).

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The pearl buyers plan to cheat Kino into selling the pearl at a very low price (p. 41).

Dreams

When Kino finds the pearl, everyone hopes for something from it. These include:

Kino's plans

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Get married in church (p. 24)

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Buy new clothes for the family (p. 24)

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Get a rifle and a harpoon (p. 24)

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Send Coyotito to school (p. 25)

Other people's plans

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The priest thinks of repairs to be made to the church (p. 21)

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The shopkeepers think of the goods that have not sold well (p. 21)

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The doctor sees himself in Paris, sitting in a restaurant waiting for a waiter to serve him wine (p. 22)

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The pearl buyers hope to buy the pearl cheaply (p. 50)

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The villagers hope that Kino's wealth will indirectly change their lives for the better (p. 23)

Family Love and Loyalty

bullet The strong bond between Kino, Juana and Coyotito is very clear. They are happy as a family.
bullet Juana supports Kino and the decisions he makes.
bullet Juan Tomas and Kino have a strong bond. Juan Tomas is Kino's only supporter and friend (pp. 44, 53 and 63).
bullet The family bond is extended to include Apolonia and Juan Tomas's four children. When Kino is in trouble, Juan Tomas and his whole family are there to offer their help and support.
bullet Juana stands by Kino throughout the story especially when they try to make their way to the north (pp. 74-5).

Appearance Versus Reality

The pearl usually represents everything that is good and pure but in this story, it represents the worst of human greed. Kino believes selling the pearl will make his dreams come true. However, he finds that it becomes an evil thing as people try to steal it from him. He is forced to commit the worst evil of all, that is, killing other men. His son, Coyotito, is also killed as a result. In the end, the pearl which seems to represent wealth is a source of evil. And Kino realizes that it is not as important as a real jewels - his happy family and his simple life.

Violence

Violence comes as a result of the various attempts to steal the pearl from Kino. It begins with a simple attempt in the brush hut and Kino hurting the attacker. It ends with a simple attempt in the brush hut and Kino hurting the attacker. It ends with Kino killing the three trackers. As men's greed grows, so does the violence. Kino also attacks Juana, his loving wife, when she tries to get rid of the pearl.

Sacrifice

bullet Juana is willing to throw the pearl into the sea in order to bring peace back to her home and keep her family safe.
bullet Kino offers to lead the trackers away so that Juana and Coyotito will be safe.
bullet Kino throws away the pearl - and his dreams - in the end in order to become once again the kind, simple man in the beginning.

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