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The Pearl

The Pearl

by John Steinbeck

Primitivity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

Kino lay as rigid as the tree limb. He barely breathed, and his eyes went to the place where he had swept out the track. Even the sweeping might be a message to the trackers. He knew these inland hunters. In a country where there was little game they managed to live because of their ability to hunt, and they were hunting him. They scuttled over the ground like animals and found a sign and crouched over it while the horseman waited. (6.29)

The trackers are animals not only in their movements and actions, but in their motives – they have no regard for Kino’s humanity. Kino responds in kind by regarding them as animals too.

Quote #5

The people say that the two seemed to be removed from human experience; that they had gone through pain and had come out on the other side; that there was almost a magical protection about them. (6.100)

This is an incredibly interesting line. Have Juana and Kino become less human because they’ve experienced suffering? Or does being "removed from human experience" simply mean that they are now privy to perspective, to emotional distance from suffering?

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