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by John Steinbeck
Juana Timeline and Summary
Juana wakes up before her husband Kino, cooks him breakfast, and then eats after him. After a scorpion stings her son Coyotito, Juana demands that he see a doctor. After the doctor refuses to see them, Juana accompanies Kino out on his pearl-hunting expedition. She makes Coyotito a poultice of seaweed to draw out the poison; it is a successful cure. After Kino resurfaces with a basket of oysters, Juana tells him to open the big one. It contains a massive pearl. Juana is happy. After Kino is injured by an intruder later that night, Juana nurses him and declares that the pearl is evil. Since Kino is unable to sell the pearl for a fair price, he is convinced that he must go to the capital. Juana again reiterates that the pearl is evil. Juana tries to throw the pearl into the ocean. Kino finds her and beats her. Kino in turn gets beaten by an attacker, who he later kills. Juana nurses him and, realizing that their old way of life is gone forever now that Kino has killed a man, gives him back the pearl. With their house in flames, canoe destroyed, and dead man lying in what used to be their front lawn, the couple is forced to take refuge with Kino’s brother. The next night, they take off. Juana has no complaints about the tough walk. When Kino tries to convince her to hide with Coyotito while he sells the pearl, Juana says no. Juana stays with Coyotito in a mountain cave while Kino goes to kill the trackers that have been on their tail. Juana is unable to keep the baby quiet and the tracker shoots. Juana cries a "cry of death." Back in La Paz, Kino offers the pearl to Juana, but she shakes her head. Rather than say "I told you so," Juana prefers to let Kino redeem himself by being the one to throw out the pearl.