Sunday, February 21, 2010


Kino is a pearl diver who lives among a community of "fishing people". He has a canoe which used to belong to his grandfather and father. Unable to get his son treated by the doctor, he goes out in his canoe with Juana and his son. Hoping to find a pearl which he can sell to pay for Coyotito's treatment. Before Juana gets into the canoe, she place a poultice of seaweed on the baby's swollen shoulder.They, like the other pearl divers in their community, to go to where the oyster bed is located. Kino has two ropes. One is tied to a heavy stone and the other is tied to a basket. He takes the rock in one hand and the basket in the other and dives into the sea. At the sea bed, he looks for mature oysters, breaks them away and lays them in his basket.

Suddenly, he spots a very large oyster and gets a glimpse on the shiny object within. He picks it up and, while holding it to his breast, rise to the surface. He place the oyster into his canoe and get into it. He opens the oyster in the basket first which do not produce anything. Juana urges him to open the larger oyster, which he does. In it he finds a large perfect pearl-as big as a seagull's egg. They look at Coyotito, only to find out that the swelling on his shoulder has gone down. Kino is overcome with emotion and screams. The other pearl divers head towards Kino's canoe.

this is a seagull's egg

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Kino wakes up at dawn and he feels happy. It is a beautiful morning. Juana makes corn-cakes for breakfast. She is also happy. She is singing an old song which is very comforting. It is the 'Song of the Family'. Kino's son, Coyotito is sleeping in a hanging box. Kino and Juana eat their breakfast and Kino sighs with satisfaction.

Suddenly, a scorpion stings Coyotito and he cries in pain. Kino kills the scorpion in rage and Juana quickly tries to suck out the poison. They take Coyotito to the doctor but he refuses to treat him as Kino has no money. Kino strikes the gate of the doctor's house with his fist until blood flows out. The crowd melts tactfully away. Everyone is aware of Kino's public humiliation and shame.


‘QWERTYUIOP’ by Vivien Alcock is about a young graduate named Lucy Beck who has just finished her ‘O’ levels at Belmont Secretarial College. Being a slow learner herself, she has no confidence that she will find a job. Fortunately, she is offered a job by Mr. Ross, the Manager of Ross and Bannister’s. During her first day, she encounters many peculiar incidents. Later, she finds out that there is a spirit lingering around the office who is adamant in holding on to her position as the company’s secretary. Towards the end of the story, Lucy tries to get rid of the spirit that has been haunting that place for many years by putting the spirit at peace.


Hello everyone, today I would like to talk about a short story called QWERTYUIOP. Here are some notes that would help you to understand the text better. Thank you to CDC for providing us with a complete Literature Component module.

The story revolves around two main settings: Lucy’s house which she shares with her mother and her Uncle Bert, and the office of Ross and Bannister’s where Lucy works as a secretary.

Lucy Beck : She is a young, shy and insecure graduate of secreterial studies. She is satisfied with her current life and is determined to improve it. She obtains a position with Ross and Bannister’s, only to find that the position comes with a chilling secret.
Ghost of Ms.Broome : She was the previous employee of Ross and Bannister’s. She is unwilling to let go of her position and continues to defend her post, even after her demise.
Lucy’s mother : A housewife who lives a hard life. She has to support her brother.
Uncle Bert : Depends on his sister for support. He is also a drunkard.
Harry Darke : Ross and Bannister’s handyman. He is an old man who has been working with the company for years.
Mr. Ross : The younger partner of the company.

Possible themes that can be found in the short story are determination, possessiveness, loyalty, loneliness, commitment, the supernatural, and compassion.

Despite the supernatural nature by which Ms. Broome badgers and demoralises Lucy, she shows no signs of giving in to her demand. Instead, she is steadfast in defending her position as the secretary.

Not even death could part Ms. Broome from what she feels is rightfully hers. She continues to haunt the office through her electronic typewriter.

As with her possesiveness towards her job, Ms. Broome was also extremely loyal towards Mr. Bannister. Even after she passed on, her spirit continued in its endeavour to serve her employer.

Loneliness can be a strong influence in a person’s life. Ms. Broome had no life outside of her office. That made her more possesive of her position in the company; a possesiveness that went beyond the grave.

This attribute can be clearly seen in both Lucy and Ms. Broome. Both are extremely committed to their profession.

It is interesting that such an integral character in the story happens to be an ethereal entity. Yet this theme is rather prominent in the story.

This theme holds water especially in the final confrontation between Lucy and Ms. Broome. It is not through hatred nor coercion that Lucy manages to outsmart Ms. Broome, rather, it was through compassion and understanding of Ms. Broome’s intentions.

• Do not judge a person merely through credentials or qualifications
• We must be committed and responsible to our vocation or profession
• We must value our family.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Kino, Juana, and their infant son, Coyotito, live in a modest brush house by the sea. One morning, calamity strikes when a scorpion stings Coyotito. Hoping to protect their son, Kino and Juana rush him to the doctor in town. When they arrive at the doctor’s gate, they are turned away because they are poor natives who cannot pay enough.

Later that same morning, Kino and Juana take their family canoe, an heirloom, out to the estuary to go diving for pearls. Juana makes a poultice for Coyotito’s wound, while Kino searches the sea bottom. Juana’s prayers for a large pearl are answered when Kino surfaces with the largest pearl either of them has ever seen. Kino lets out a triumphant yell at his good fortune, prompting the surrounding boats to circle in and examine the treasure.

In the afternoon, the whole neighborhood gathers at Kino’s brush house to celebrate his find. Kino names a list of things that he will secure for his family with his newfound wealth, including a church wedding and an education for his son. The neighbors marvel at Kino’s boldness and wonder if he is foolish or wise to harbor such ambitions.

Toward evening, the local priest visits Kino to bless him in his good fortune and to remind him of his place within the church. Shortly thereafter, the doctor arrives, explaining that he was out in the morning but has come now to cure Coyotito. He administers a powdered capsule and promises to return in an hour.

In the intervening period, Coyotito grows violently ill, and Kino decides to bury the pearl under the floor in a corner of the brush house. The doctor returns and feeds Coyotito a potion to quiet his spasms. When the doctor inquires about payment, Kino explains that soon he will sell his large pearl and inadvertently glances toward the corner where he has hidden the pearl. This mention of the pearl greatly intrigues the doctor, and Kino is left with an uneasy feeling.

Before going to bed, Kino reburies the pearl under his sleeping mat. That night, he is roused by an intruder digging around in the corner. A violent struggle ensues, and Kino’s efforts to chase away the criminal leave him bloodied. Terribly upset by this turn of events, Juana proposes that they abandon the pearl, which she considers an agent of evil.

The next morning, Kino and Juana make their way to town to sell the pearl. Juan Tomás, Kino’s brother, advises Kino to be wary of cheats. Indeed, all of the dealers conspire to bid low on the pearl. Kino indignantly refuses to accept their offers, resolving instead to take his pearl to the capital. That evening, as Kino and Juana prepare to leave, Juan Tomás cautions Kino against being overly proud, and Juana repeats her wish to be rid of the pearl. Kino silences her, explaining that he is a man and will take care of things.

In the middle of the night, Juana steals away with the pearl. Kino wakes as she leaves and pursues her, apprehending her just as she is poised to throw the pearl into the sea. He tackles her, takes the pearl back, and beats her violently, leaving her in a crumpled heap on the beach. As he returns to the brush house, a group of hostile men confronts him and tries to take the pearl from him. He fights the men off, killing one and causing the rest to flee, but drops the pearl in the process.

As Juana ascends from the shore to the brush house, she finds the pearl lying in the path. Just beyond, she sees Kino on the ground, next to the dead man. He bemoans the loss of the pearl, which she presents to him. Though Kino explains that he had no intention to kill, Juana insists that he will be labeled a murderer. They resolve to flee at once. Kino rushes back to the shore to prepare the canoe, while Juana returns home to gather Coyotito and their belongings.

Kino arrives at the shore and finds his canoe destroyed by vandals. When he climbs the hill, he sees a fire blazing, and realizes that his house has burned down. Desperate to find refuge, Kino, Juana and Coyotito duck into Juan Tomás’s house, where they hide out for the day. Relieved that the three did not perish in the blaze, as the rest of the neighborhood believes, Juan Tomás and his wife, Apolonia, reluctantly agree to keep Kino and Juana’s secret and provide shelter for them while pretending to be ignorant of their whereabouts.

At nightfall, Kino, Juana, and Coyotito set out for the capital. Skirting the town, they travel north until sunrise and then take covert shelter by the roadside. They sleep for most of the day and are preparing to set out again when Kino discovers that three trackers are following them. After hesitating briefly, Kino decides that they must hurry up the mountain, in hopes of eluding the trackers. A breathless ascent brings them to a water source, where they rest and take shelter in a nearby cave. Kino attempts to mislead the trackers by creating a false trail up the mountain. Kino, Juana, and Coyotito then hide in the cave and wait for an opportunity to escape back down the mountain.

The trackers are slow in their pursuit and finally arrive at the watering hole at dusk. They make camp nearby, and two of the trackers sleep while the third stands watch. Kino decides that he must attempt to attack them before the late moon rises. He strips naked to avoid being seen and sneaks up to striking distance. Just as Kino prepares to attack, Coyotito lets out a cry, waking the sleepers. When one of them fires his rifle in the direction of the cry, Kino makes his move, killing the trackers in a violent fury. In the aftermath, Kino slowly realizes that the rifle shot struck and killed his son in the cave.

The next day, Kino and Juana make their way back through town and the outlying brush houses. Juana carries her dead son slung over her shoulder. They walk all the way to the sea, as onlookers watch in silent fascination. At the shore, Kino pulls the pearl out of his clothing and takes one last, hard look at it. Then, with all his might, under a setting sun, he flings the pearl back into the sea.