Music and song play an important role in The Pearl. Although the narrator does not speak of music and song in the traditional sense, it's fun to set the different songs to modern or not-so-modern music. The following project involves creating a CD or album cover — not an actual CD, although that is an option. The CD cover must include the following:
(1) "The Song of Family" with a subtitle of a real song;
(2) "The Song of Evil" with a subtitle of a real song;
(3) "The Song of the Pearl" with the subtitle of a real song.
The lyrics from the chosen songs should contain thematic elements of the novella (to be explained in the essay and presentation.)
A MINIMUM of 1 verse or 1 chorus must be used to connect the song with the novella.
ESSAY: You will write a 2-3 page essay (introduction—attention getter, preview, thesis; 3 body paragraphs—topic sentences, proof/textual evidence from the novella and the songs, explanation; and conclusion—clincher.)
Topic Sentence In the beginning of The Pearl, John Steinbeck describes a peaceful, loving scene surrounding the main characters Kino, Juana, and their baby Coyotito. “Kino’s eyes opened, and he looked first at the lightening square…and then he looked at the hanging box where Coyotito slept. And at last he turned his head to Juana, his wife, who lay beside him on the mat…Juana’s eyes were open too. Kino could never remember seeing them closed when he awakened” (Steinbeck 90). Kino and his family were happy, content, with their simple, loving life. As Kino awakens and steps outside on the beach, he hears the Song of Family in his head. Throughout the novella, when Kino hears The Song of Family, he is overcome with feelings of love, contentment, faithfulness, and ambition. Even toward the end of the novella, when Kino and his family are in danger, The Song of the Family “had become as fierce and sharp and feline as the snarl of a female puma” (132).
A modern song that would display Kino’s emotion during the novella when he heard The Song of Family would be “The Power of Love” by Celine Dion. In the first verse, the lines “The whispers in the morning/ Of lovers sleeping tight/ Are rolling like thunder now/ As I look in your eyes” (Dion). These lines depict how Kino and especially Juana were feeling at the opening of the novella as they awoke in the morning, before the evil and greed entered their lives. Additionally, the chorus states “’Cause I am your lady/ And you are my man/ Whenever you reach for me/ I’ll do all that I can” (Dion). Whenever Kino needed Juana, she was always there for him. Juana was the voice of reason in the relationship and attempted to lead Kino in the right direction. Even if he chose the wrong path, Juana did all that she could. Finally, in the second chorus, Dion states “We’re heading for something/ Somewhere I’ve never been/ Sometimes I am frightened/ But I’m ready to learn/ Of the power of love.” These lines connect to the motif of the Song of Family because Kino and Juana were headed on a new adventure after finding the pearl, an adventure they thought would fulfill their dreams, but ended with their son’s demise. Regardless, in the end, Juana walked alongside her husband. “…and they were not walking in single file…but side by side” (Steinbeck 133).