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When it comes to nature in the first two chapters of The Pearl, it seems that the town is often described as a very peaceful, calm and beautiful place. At the beginning of the first chapter, Steinbeck describes the village right before dawn with such phrases like “the day had drawn only a pale wash of light in the lower sky to the east” and “the little splash of morning waves on the beach”. It gives the story a very easy-going and calm sort of feel that matches Kino’s mood when he speaks of the Song of the Family and how at peace he is. And yet, Steinbeck also describes pigs trying to find food and ants busy at work and it feels like it’s kind of a metaphor to the poor people of the village who live in the bush houses and have to work hard to survive even in this beautiful landscape, as compared to the people who have more money and live in town and can afford things like having the doctor visit them.
Likewise, in the beginning of the second chapter, the shoreline is described when Kino and Juana are going down to the beach with their son. It says “the brown algae waved in the gentle currents and the green eel grass swayed and little sea horses clung to its stems” and describes this part of the town in very smooth terms, talking about how calm the water is and how everything is going about its normal routine. However, once again, it also mentions the darker part of the beach where the dogs and pigs are searching for dead fish or birds so that they can eat. I think this could also be a metaphor to the fact that Kino and Juana are going around their everyday activities when someone big, and dark, happens – the scorpion pinches Coyotito.
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