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Comparing and Contrasting Characters

Compare and contrast means understanding in what ways the characters are similar to, or different from, one another.


  1. Committed and loyal to Juana and their family

  2. Hard-working

  3. Loving husband and father

  4. Dreams about the future

  5. Emotional-his feelings make him act rashly

  6. Cynical-does not trust the doctor, the priest or the pearl buyers



  1. Committed and loyal to Kino and their family

  2. Hard-working

  3. Loving wife and mother

  4. Practical, acts quickly-sucks the poison from the baby's wound

  5. Strong mind-acts to get rid of the pearl

  6. Religious

The doctor

  1. Dishonest-cheats the poor villagers

  2. Greedy-won't treat the sick unless they can pay; wants the pearl

  3. Cruel-purposely poisons Coyotito so he can 'cure' him

The Pearl Buyers

  1. Dishonest-pay the villagers very little for their pearls

  2. Greedy-want Kino's pearl but do not want to pay too much for it

Juan Tomas

  1. Wise-gives Kino good advise

  2. Worries about the trouble that comes with the pearl

  3. Concerned-helps Kino when he is in trouble

The Priest

  1. Selfish-wants money from the sale of the pearl to repair the church

  2. Not concerned about the villagers' problem


Relationship Between Characters

Another important aspect which helps us understand a story better is the relationship between the characters.

  1. Kino and Juana - they are husband and wife, loyal to each other and their baby, Coyotito
  2. Kino and Juan Tomas - they are brothers and Juan Tomas, as the older brother, advises and helps Kino
  3. The priest and the villagers - he treats them like children and they treat him with respect and trust
  4. The doctor, the pearl buyers and the villagers - they feel superior to the villagers and cheat them

Making Conclusion About Characters

You can make conclusion about characters by what they say and do, as well as from what others say about them.

'Perhaps I should let them take me.' (p. 72, para. 5)

From what Kino says, we can conclude that he is a loving father and husband who is willing to give up his life for his family.

Effects of a Character's Actions

In studying a character, it is important to note that a character's action can have a number positive and negative effects.

Action: Kino finds the great pearl.

Effects:  -Kino dreams of getting married in a church, giving Coyotito an education and buying things like a new harpoon, a rifle and new clothes for his family.

-Kino does not trust the people around him.

-He becomes like an animal (a hissing snake, a leopard, etc.) and kills to protect the pearl from the attackers and trackers.

-He loses his canoe and home.

-He and Juana are forced to leave the village.

-Coyotito dies.