Taylor's Journey of Personal Growth in The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingslover

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In this story “The Bean Trees” by Barbara Kingslover we meet Taylor Greer, an average teenager from Pittman, Kentucky. Even though Taylor has never been through anything truly horrific in her life how can she truly understand how unpleasant the world can be? Taylor’s personal growth in the “The Bean Trees” is a part of an uncertain journey because Taylor is thrown into motherhood and forced to see the bad experiences people go through in life. In the beginning of the story we see that Taylor is an average teenage girl living with a single mother. She says, “But I stayed in school. I was not the smartest or even particularly outstanding but I was there and staying out of trouble” (3). She was called “Missy” for a lot of her childhood …show more content…

It is ironic that she left Kentucky to avoid getting pregnant, and then right in the beginning of her journey she is thrown into motherhood. When Turtle was flung upon her Taylor really just went with the flow and seemed calm, but she was terrified. She says, “I realized I had no business just assuming I could take responsibility for a child’s life” (186). She knows that she took on a huge responsibility but once her love for Turtle grew she knew that she wanted to accept that responsibility and in return she gains Turtle’s love back. The courage she started out with before this trip has now grown and it’s helping her in a positive way by allowing her to help out this abandoned young child. In the beginning Taylor was determined to have her freedom, but once Turtle comes into her life she recognizes the worth in caring about someone other than herself. Taylor is more compassionate and loving thanks to Turtle. Turtle and Taylor end up living in Tucson, Arizona. Taylor finds a job and a place to stay. While she is in Tucson she starts to recognize that there are a lot of people in the world that have gone through much worse situations than she has. She tells Estevan, "I keep finding out that life can be hard in ways I never knew about" (141). She is growing out of her naiveness and learning more about the realities of life. This in turn is making her a more understanding and

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