Family is idealized in The Pearl – it is "warmth […], safety […], the Whole." Main character Kino protects his family above all else, even the self, and he does so with an almost animalistic fervor. Family is closely tied to gender roles in this text, since the duties of mother and father, husband and wife are an important part of identity.
Kino and Juana are so restricted by their prescribed, gender-based roles in the family unit their relationship is an unhealthy and destructive one.
Because Kino and Juana still have each other at the novel’s conclusion, the ending to The Pearl is an optimistic one.