The Pearl

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The Scorpion Symbol Analysis

The Scorpion Symbol Icon
The scorpion is a figure of pure evil, whose sole function in the novel is to do harm to the most innocent and powerless character, Coyotito. The scorpion symbolizes the evil that is found in nature, which is seemingly arbitrary and unmotivated, in contrast to the evil that is found in mankind, which is generally the result of selfish desire and greed.
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The Scorpion Symbol Timeline in The Pearl

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Scorpion appears in The Pearl. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
...a movement from Coyotito’s hanging box and turn their heads to determine its source: a scorpion is climbing slowly down the rope of the hanging box, toward Coyotito. (full context)
Race, Tradition, and Oppression Theme Icon
As the scorpion moves further down the rope, Juana prays in a whisper, an ancient prayer as well... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Kino is reaching for the scorpion when it freezes in place and flicks its tail. Coyotito then laughs and shakes the... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
From Coyotito’s shoulder, Kino takes the scorpion and squashes it angrily. Juana, meanwhile, tries to suck the poison out of Coyotito’s shoulder.... (full context)
Community Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
...the brush house at the sound of the baby’s cries. They all know that a scorpion bite can easily kill a baby, if sufficient poison has seeped in. (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Race, Tradition, and Oppression Theme Icon
When the servant tells the doctor about Kino and Juana, and Coyotito’s scorpion bite, the doctor becomes angry, insulted by the notion that he would deign to “cure... (full context)