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Language

Writers/ authors use language to make the story more interesting. They use language to engage the readers’ senses and imagination. Writers/authors use different styles to present stories and to make the situations dramatic or realistic. Style refers to the unique features of a written piece of literary work, which differ from other literary works. Writers use a style which allows him or her to make the narration, description, explanation, recount and presentation more effective for the readers to appreciate the literary works.

In the novel “The Pearl” the author uses the following figurative language (words, phrases or sayings which provide a mental picture, and often give different meanings from the usual use). The author also uses imagery (words, phrases or expressions) which works on our senses. Our five senses are engaged through the use of particular imagery and we, as the readers, feel the experiences, as if we too are part of the experience or events.

The author also relies on the people’s traditions and socio-cultural experiences to make the story interesting. The use of songs is an interesting way of getting the readers to have a unique experience. There are a number of songs that play in the minds and hearts of the native Mexican-Indians. There are songs of the family, the music of the enemy, music of the pearl, dark music, music of evil and ancient magic to safeguard from evil. 

Song and music play an important part in the lives of these people. This is the belief of the people.  The song of family is that of peace and harmony. It shows that everything is calm and positive. The song of the enemy or evil refers to some form of warning that something bad would happen. The song of the pearl is a mixture of both good and evil. When Kino dives to look for pearls and find the great pearl, the song of the pearl is of hope. This changes as the story develops and the song of the pearl becomes a sign of evil. The use of songs and music playing in the minds and hearts of the people make the story unique compared to other stories.

Type of Songs What the Songs Symbolise
Song of familyUnity, strength, peace, harmony, calmness
Song of the enemy or evilWarning, danger, uncertainties, disasters
Song of the pearl
(good and bad)
Hope, future, fortune, security, happiness
Evil, harm, disasters, fatality, meaningless

Let us look at how the author uses language to make the narration both interesting and effective.

The author uses day and night to show the different between good and evil. The beginning of day is positive and shows hope. The attacks on Kino, the murders and all evil happenings take place at night.
   - “…only a pale wash of light in the lower sky…” (Page 1)
   - “The ants were busy on the ground…” (Page 3)
   - “And they began this day with hope.” (Page 39)
   - “…and the devils that haunt the night… (Page 66)

Some of these words or phrases, and sentences are used to make comparisons. Words such as ‘as’ and ‘like’ are used to make comparisons.

The author uses figurative language: The comparisons are made with reference to animals:
colonial animal, purring of a kitten, chickens, the circling of wolves, the hover of vultures.
    “…grey oysters with ruffles like skirts on the shells.” (Page 16)
    “A town is like a colonial animal.” (Page 21)
    “And the music of the pearl rose like a chorus of trumpets in his ears.” (Page 24)
    “The song of the family came from behind him like the purring of a kitten.” (Page 29)
    “He scattered the old women like chickens.” (Page 34)
    “He must break out of the pot that holds us in.”(Page 38)
    “He felt the creeping of fate, the circling of wolves, the hover of vultures.” (Page 49)
    “ He was an animal now…” (Page 60)
    “ The killing of a man was not so evil as the killing of a boat.” (Page 60)
    “ The trackers whined a little, like excited dogs on a warming trail.” (Page 71)
 
Language is also used to show emphasis and to make readers experience the circumstances. Look at the following phrase and sentences. 
    “…the thousand washings of his clothes and set them down as poverty people.” (Page 8)
    “I am a doctor not a veterinary.” (Page 11)
    “The pearl was ugly; it was grey, like a malignant growth.” (Page 87)

Words are also used to create the mood (feelings: sad, excited, gloom, hope, success etc.)The words are used for a purpose: to make the reader undergo the experiences. Let’s look at these phrases:
    “The stars still shone…”  (Page 1): to show that there is hope, a new day is coming. 
    “…hear the evil music of the enemy.” (Page 5): to show the feeling of fear.
    “…rich, and warm and lovely, glowing and gloating and triumphant.”
        (Page 19): to show the sense of hope.
    “…he could see dream forms” (Page 19): to show a feeling of achievement.

 
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