We are introduced to Kino, Juana, and Coyotito as they wake up in the morning. They live in small village named La Paz in Mexico. The Song of Family plays in Kino's head. Although they are poor,they value the love of family.
Later that day, Coyotito is stung by a scorpion inside their hut.They search for the doctor in need of medical help,but are turned down because they have no money. In need of money,they go pearl fishing and find a great pearl. This widens Kino's perspective, hopes ,and dreams.
Kino hopes to sell the pearl,but is interrupted by the evil the pearl actually brings. Juana tries to convince Kino to get rid of the pearl,but he is fixed on what the pearl can do for them. Eventually, Kino goes to the city to sell his pearl. He believes the sellers are trying to scam him, so he plans to embark to the capital to get the true value of his pearl.
At night, Juana goes to the spot where Kino has put the pearl to get rid of the evil she believes it has. KIno follows her and beats Juana for betraying his wishes. Then, a man attacks Kino to steal the pearl. This leads to Kino killing him. When they return home they find Kino's canoe punctured and their home burned down. Realizing life will never be the same for them, they decide to leave.
As they escape, they realize they are being tracked by hunters. While Juana and Coyotito wait in a cave, Kino goes to kill the hunters with their rifle. After Kino's massacre, he hears a cry. As he returns to the cave he finds a mourning Juana and dead Coyotito who had been shot during the action.
Kino and Juana return to La Paz with Coyotito's body. While he did get the rifle he wanted, he did not want it to be gained in that way. Realizing that the pearl is evil, Kino throws the pearl back into the sea.