The Pearl: Music Essay

Published: 2021-09-11 21:40:08
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Music is known to be a quality in which one possesses toproduce harmony,or to make others pleasant through messages. Authors use descriptive writingto set the atmosphere in manystories. In the short story, “The Pearl”, JohnSteinbeck usesdifferent types of music to introduce, and set the atmosphereofthe story. In this, music is used to introduce evil, to showfamilylifestyle, and to show significance of the pearl.
John Steinbeck showsevil’s intrusion into Kino’s family bymeans of music. Evil is introducedinto many scenes, by itsshadows and music. Kino, being the main character,is usuallyfirst to hear it. “Kino stepped to the doorway and lookedout. .
. The thin dog cameto him, and threshed itself in greeting like awind?blown flag,and Kino looked down at it and didn’t see it. He hadbrokenthrough the horizons into a cold and lonely outside. He feltalone andunprotected, and scraping crickets and shrilling treefrogs and croakingtoads seemed to be carrying the melody ofevil. ” Here Kino, hears the evilmusic carried out through the eyesof nature.
The baby, Coyotito, is still,and quiet, and does notknow of the evil that is approaching. As for hisillness, it hasbeen cured when Kino first found the pearl. In time, alittle after Kino hears this evil music, the doctorarrives having alreadyheard about the baby’s miraculousrecovery. The doctor informs Kino ofCoyotito’s situation, andhow the illness will return.
He then treats itwith a smallremedy. Kino knows Coyotito is not sick, but accepts thedoctorshelp to ensure his sons health. Already knowing thedoctor’sexpectations in payment, Kino refuses to give up his pearl. Oncethe doctor leaves the house, Kino no longer hears theevil music that onceplayed with his ears. Following thesymptoms that the doctor assumed,Coyotito becomes ill and lateron returns to his original state. From thisscene, one can deduce that Kino’s sense of evilcomes from music, and alsothat this is the form of writing thatJohn Steinbeck uses to introduce anevil pretense.
In this scene,evil music is used as a form of descriptivewriting, as it setsthe atmosphere for the event about to take place. Italso addssuspense, as one may not know where and when the evil shallstrike. Steinbeck tries to emphasize the fact that thisphenomenon that Kino hearsis similar to what one may consider asixth sense in modern times. Kino thushas the ability toanticipate evil before it actually appears in the plot.
Music within the family is portrayed by a family prayer orsong. This issung by most of the poor families of the village,as it has an emotionaleffect on family lifestyles. “Juana sang softly an ancient song that hadonly three notes andyet endless variety of interval. And this was part ofthe familysong too. It was all part. Sometimes it rose to an achingchordthat caught the throat saying this is safety, this is warmth,this isthe Whole.
” At this point, Kino awakes as usual to hear sounds of thefamilysong. Here, John Steinbeck brings across the point thatKino’s family doesthis on a regular basis and that they considerit similar to a ritual. Steinbeck also stresses that the familymusic is what separates Kino’sfamily from the other villagers. In this scene Kino also hears the sound ofbreakfast, pigs,and wives. These are all parts of music, but all belongingtoother families in the village. The song clearly demonstrates thebondbetween Kino and his family’s lives John Steinbeck uses music of the familyas a belief, similarto how we believe in God, and pray to Him.
Kino’sfamily singsand believes in their unity, and that if their family was tofallapart, they would lose their point in life. The family uses theirsongas a form of motivation, something to strive for. Kinos mainpoint in lifeis to ensure a strong future for the family. The song coming from the pearlis similar to that of evil.
Theonly difference is that it gives an illusionof good, rather thanthat of evil. “All of these things Kino saw in the lucent pearl and he said,`We willhave new clothes’. And the music of the pearl rose likea chorus of trumpetsin his ears. Then to the lovely gray surfaceof the pearl came the littlethings Kino wanted.
. . His lips themmoved hesitantly over this?`A rifle’, hesaid. `Perhaps a rifle’.
” From this quote, one can notice that as the songof the pearlcontinues, it grows stronger in Kino’s head, slowlyseparatinghim from his family. John Steinbeck brings the song of thepearlto use by changing the needs of Kino, bringing him closer toevil, ashe wants more, his greed growing stronger for not onlyhis family, buthimself. In later parts of the story, Kino statesthat he would die if hehad to give up the pearl. The song of thefamily that once held his moralsin place was gone, as the songof the pearl had worked its way through tohim. The song of the pearl is not used much throughout the story,”ThePearl”, but is used effectively as it constructs moralbarriers that themain character must pass, thus having it’s ownsub?plot throughout thestory.
As any reader may notice, the song of the pearl slowly takesaway thesoul of the main character. It thus grants itself ashadow in the “evilsong”. Because the pearl’s music so closely resembles that of theevilmusic, many cannot capture the fact on how the pearl’s musicis truly used. Nearing end of the story, the song of the pearl is actually what promptskino to kill the thieves, being moredominant than the “evil song”.
Thepearl’s music brings Kino toits captivity, thus proving that the music ofthe pearl takes theside of evil. All three forms of music definitely have their own unique formofexpression. Once the pearl enters the plot of the story, allthe forms ofmusic come into effect. “Juana watched him with worry, but she knew him andshe knew shecould help him best by being silent and by being near. Andasthough she too could hear the Song of Evil, she fought it,singing softlythe melody of the family, of the safety and warmthand wholeness of thefamily. ” This quote shows a great effect of the pearl’s music, evilmusic,and the family music on Kino.
He is tempted away from hismorals of thefamily. Although Juanna tries to rid the evilmusic, she senses that it hasalready wrapped its hands aroundKino, her husband. By using this method,John Steinbeck compares the two types ofmusic, good and evil, to the devilhimself and the Lord, JesusChrist. Jesus, similar to Kino, is tempted bythe devils tricks,but both do not give in.
Although Kino is tempted to afurtherextent, and actually kills because of his greed, he realizes howmuchvalue his family is to him, and that there is no price thatcan compensatefor the loss of his child. From the above arguments the fact that music’srole in “ThePearl” is dominant over the plot can be proved. One can nowstatethat its influence over Kino, the main character, provoked theplot,and influenced him throughout this story. The fact thatevil musicintroduced an evil sub?plot can also be stated.
Another main point is thatthe music of the pearl itself was”prim?evil”, and that it was disguised,only to lead the readerto believe that the pearl brought evil to its owner. Throughout life music has been used effectively to expressemotions. In “ThePearl” music’s value to man kind is trulyshown, as it is well known, musicis the soul of life.

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