Monday, August 31, 2009


1. Response must be relevant to the task. Give clear identification of the character/ moral lesson/ event, etc as required by the question.
2. Points must be with evidence from the text.
3. Points must be expressed clearly and well organized.
5. The use of tenses must be consistent throughout the answer. Stick to present tense or past tense only.

SPM 2001

1. Which character do you like the best in the novel you have studied? Give three reasons why you like the character to support your answer. (15 MARKS)

The question requires you to give a personal response to the story:
1. Identify the CHARACTER.
2. Give THREE reasons why you like the character, referring to the events, etc. in the story to support your point.


I like Juana in The Pearl because she is a strong resilient character. When we first meet her, she seems quiet and submissive, a traditional wife and mother whose main duty is to look after her husband and child, prepares their meals and keeps house. However when there is a crisis in their lives, it is Juana who appears strong and in control. When a scorpion stings Coyotito, Juana finds the puncture mark and sucks out the poison, while Kino is “helpless” and “in the way”. Juana is “patient, “fragile”, ”obedient” and “respectful” as stated in the novel. She has “iron” in her, that is she has great inner strength. She may seem fragile but she is like “a strong man” in the canoe, and therefore, can even help Kino in his work as a pearl diver.
It is Juana who decides that the doctor must treat Coyotito. Being a traditional housewife in a poor village where the people have been oppressed for centuries has not made her too timid. She goes against tradition when she has to. She dares to voice up her wish to have the doctor coming to her house to treat her son. She does not give up when her husband helplessly delivers the news that the doctor refuses to come to her house. She decides that if the doctor will not come to them, they will go to him.
Juana recognizes the negative influence of the pearl, and knows it is a threat to their contented family life. She wants Kino to get rid of the pearl, but Kino considers the pearl the answer to all their dreams. Juana does not believe this. She decides she will throw the pearl back into the sea, even if this will anger Kino.
It is also Juana’s good sense that guides Kino. She makes him see that they must flee the village after Kino kills an intruder. She is not afraid to go with him to the mountains. She stays with him although he is cruel to her, striking her brutally when she tries to get rid of the pearl. She is patient, supportive and loyal to Kino throughout. She does not blame him when the baby is killed. Juana is strong not only for herself, but also for her husband.
I like Juana for all these qualities – her strength, courage, determination and perseverance, as well as her loyalty to and lasting love for Kino.

SPM 2002

1. Write a detailed account of an event in the novel you have chosen which teaches you an important moral lesson. In your account you must make clear what the moral lesson is.

The question requires you to know the story well enough to give specific information.
1. State the moral lesson.
2. Identify the event that is relevant to the moral lesson and elaborate on it, referring to the details in the novel.

Sample answer.

The moral lesson that I have learnt from the novel The Pearl is that I must be brave enough to do the right thing even if others disapprove or if the people I am trying to help become angry with me. Juana pleads with Kino to get rid of the pearl but he refuses, and this drives her to do it herself, although she knows he will be angry with her.
This value can be seen in chapter five when Juana tries to stealthily throw away the pearl back into the sea. She wakes up early in the morning, braving herself to walk in the dark and even running away when chased by Kino. As she was about to flung the pearl into the sea, Kino wrenches the pearl from her hand and hits her. Apart from that he also kicks her brutally. He then leaves her lying in pain on the beach.
I am sure that Juana knows Kino well enough for they have been married for some time. She must have known Kino’s personality traits and realizes how emotional he could be when it comes to the pearl. But she is wise and is not a coward. She takes the risk and is very brave in trying to throw away the pearl as she does it for her family sake even though Kino disagrees with her action.

SPM 2003

1. Which character do you sympathise with in the novel you have studied? Explain why you sympathise with this character. Support your answer with evidence from the text.

The question requires you to give a personal response to the story, specifically, to a character you most sympathized with.
1. Identify the character.
2. Explain why you sympathized with him or her, referring to the event, etc, in the story to support your points.


The character that I sympathized with in the novel The Pearl is Coyotito.
He is Kino’s and Juana’s only son. I sympathized with him due to a few bad things that have happened to him.
Firstly, he is stung by a scorpion. He is still a baby yet he has to endure the pain from the scorpion’s poison. He screams and cries in pain after he is stung by the scorpion till all the neighbours hear him and come to Kino’s house. Even though Juana tries to suck out the poison, he is not cured straight away.
I also sympathized with him when the doctor refuses to treat him. Under normal circumstances any normal doctor would have treated an adorable baby but Coyotito is not that lucky. He is denied the right to be treated by a doctor even when his life is at stake simply because his father is poor.
Next, I also pity Coyotito when Kino and Juana take him along with them when they go to the sea. A sick baby’s place is at home but Coyotito is taken to the sea and he has to bear the hot temperature and danger even though he is still small and sick.
Finally, I sympathized with Coyotito as he has to endure the dangerous and difficult journey to the city. His family has to run to the mountain to save themselves from the cruel trackers. There he is accidentally shot and killed.
As a small baby he has endured and gone through unnecessary difficulties when he should be living happily with his family. That is why I sympathized with Coyotito. Life has not been fair to him.

SPM 2004

1. Choose an event in the novel you have studied which you find to be the most memorable. Give reasons for your choice and with close reference to the text, discuss the event.

The question requires you to give a personal response to the story, specifically, to an event you find most memorable.
1. Identify the event.
2. Explain why you choose the event and elaborate on the event, referring to the details in the novel.


The event that I consider the most memorable in the novel The Pearl is the point when the baby, Coyotito is killed.
Kino and his wife are being pursued by the trackers, who are after their pearl. That pearl has become the most important thing in Kino’s life. He has even struck his beloved wife in anger because of it. If he had surrendered the pearl, his family’s life would not be in peril’ but he said “This pearl has become my soul. If I give it up I lose my soul”.
And now the trackers are close to his trail. He can see them from the cave where he hides his family. Finally, he decides that he has no choice but to attack the trackers while they are resting. It is either to kill or be killed. He creeps up on them stealthily, but just he is about to leap out, he hears his baby cry. The trackers actually think it is just a coyote and yet one of the trackers fires casually in the direction of the sound. At that moment Kino attacks. After fierce fighting, Kino is able to kill all three men. But when he sees that they are all dead, he hears the sound of Juana’s keening wail, the cry of death.
This scene is riveting because the suspense has been building up – will Kino be killed, or will he manage to kill the trackers? Then, when the baby cries, this adds another question mark to end the result. And then there is utter horror at the knowledge of the baby’s death.
The event is also important because it causes a complete turnaround for Kino. The pearl no longer has a hold on him. In fact he throws it back into the sea.

SPM 2005

‘Love is important in a family’. How is this shown in the novel you have read? Support your answer with close reference to the text.

The question requires you to give a personal response to the story, specifically, to the theme of love.
1. State that the novel shows how love is important in a family.
2. Relate the events to how love is shown.


The novel The Pearl shows me the importance of love when trying to survive in a cruel and wicked world. When Coyotito was stung by the scorpion we could see that Kino and Juana’s actions were propelled by their love and sustained by courage. First, in spite of the danger to himself, Kino tried to catch the scorpion with his bare hands. He then crushed the scorpion between his hands and stamped on it. As for Juana, she bravely sucked out the poison from the wound knowing fully well the action could endanger her life. They also endured the humiliation to beg the doctor to treat their sick child. These were all done out of love for their son.
When things went even more wrong, with the people trying to cheat them, and the trackers going after them, the couple’s actions and decisions were again based on their love for each other, supported by courage and sustained by patience. When Kino hit Juana in a rage, she patiently bore it. She was not swayed in her devotion to him. Her thoughts were for him and not for herself. When the trackers were closing in on them, Kino wanted to lead the trackers away, bravely sacrificing himself so his family could escape. In response, Juana, in her love for him, refuses to let him make this sacrifice. It took real courage for the woman to be willing to face the evil trackers. Then when the child was killed, the couple needed love to go living as heroes in the face of adversity.
In conclusion, The Pearl shows me the importance of love in facing life obstacles.

SPM 2006

1. The writer describes the main character as a very determined person. Using the details from the novel that you have studied write about:
a) some instances that show the characters determination.
b) How the determination affects his / her family.

The question requires you to:
1. Identify the main character whom you consider to be a determined person.
2. Provide examples of the character’s determination using textual evidence from the text.
3. Explain how the determination affects the family.
All these must be tied up to show the link between the determination and the effects on the family.


The main character in The Pearl is Juana. She is described as a very determined person. Firstly, Juana’s determination is shown when she insists on bringing Coyotito to see the doctor although she knows the doctor would not come to the brush house.
She believes that Coyotito must be treated by the doctor to save his life. Although she knows that the doctor’s race looks down upon her race and treats them as if they are simple animals. She sacrifices her pride by going to the doctor’s house. Kino is amazed at her strong determination.
Secondly, Juana is determined to get rid of the pearl. She believes that the pearl is evil. Juana tries to throw the pearl back into the sea when Kino is asleep. When Kino finds her, he wrenches the pearl from her hand. Then, he punches and kicks her in rage. Juana’s determination to destroy the pearl has turned Kino into a violent husband.
Thirdly, when the trackers are closing in on them, Kino wants to lead the trackers away in order to save his family. However Juana is determined to stay with Kino no matter what happens. It takes real determination and courage to be willing to face the cruel trackers.
In conclusion, Juana’s determination contributes to the family survival against hardship and challenges that they face in life.

SPM 2007

1. ‘It is important to have a person you look up to in your life’. From the novel you have read, write about one character that you look up to. Give reasons why you choose him / her.

The question requires you to give a personal response to the story.
1. Identify the character.
2. Explain why you choose him / her referring to the events, etc. in the story to support your points.


The character that I look up to in the novel The Pearl is Juana. She is strong and courageous. From Juana I learn that it is wise to look beyond appearances and feelings.
Kino is spellbound by the pearl he finds and soon cannot be parted from it. Juana however, can see the powerful influence of the pearl upon Kino, and she is afraid because it is a negative influence.
Juana also encourages me to be brave enough to do the right thing although it may anger the person I am trying to help. When Kino refuses to listen to Juana’s pleas to throw the pearl back into the sea, she takes matters into her own hands and tries to throw the pearl back into the sea herself. She also does not give up on Kino, but helps him by following him. This show of support gives Kino strength at a time when his life is falling apart.
Juana also shows me the value of patience and loyalty. She is patient with Kino although he will not listen to her good advice. He is even violent and brutal with her, but she forgives him and remains patient. She trusts in her own judgment, but she is loyal to her husband. She advises him to flee when he kills a man. Kino learns from her determination to keep the family together. Although they lose their baby in the end, he is finally able to choose rightly – family over the promises of the pearl –


  1. Salam
    saya calon spm 09..
    sy mmg tertarik membaca sample answer di sini..
    nice words and elaboration...

    saya dah mula spread link page ni..
    bagi kt geng sy..

    Trimas-Syukran jazakallah~

  2. Thank you for your sample answers.
    You have actually inspires me the way to write this literature essay well.


  3. thx, vry good, really helps a lot!