In The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver uses characters and symbols to show that families are not genetically made up, rather built from love and support. As Kingsolver establishes the dynamic roles of Taylor Greer upon meeting Turtle and Lou Ann Ruiz throughout the novel, she also includes the symbolic significance of the rhizobia to illuminate the message of The Bean Trees.
Kingsolver structures Taylor’s dynamic behaviors in ways that explain the definition of family. She appeals to the reader that Taylor’s conservative yet caring personality allowed her to determine what an abandoned Indian child means in her life. Kingsolver incorporates this shift of personality in order to appeal to the reader that a loving family isn’t made up of genes rather love and care. When Taylor left Kentucky, she carried the goal of avoiding pregnancy or, in another word, family along with her. Taylor described herself as “useless,” (81) and considered herself “crazy to think that whisking Turtle away from the Cherokee Nation was doing her a favor” (81). Taylor thought one’s well-being was impacted by no other but blood relatives, similar to how Taylor’s confidence and self-esteem were high due to her mother’s praises, even if they weren’t truthful. Taylor always accepted her mother’s praises because she thought her mother was always right (236). Likewise, she’d thought Turtle’s development would nourish better from the nurture of her birth relatives. However, Taylor later realizes the impact
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In her romance novel The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver discusses the importance of family and friendship. The protagonist Taylor Greer escapes her home in Pittman County to live a more fulfilling life elsewhere. She arrives in the Cherokee Nation where she is handed a baby. She names the baby Turtle and drives to Tucson where she stops by Jesus is Lord Used Tires and meets Mattie, the owner. The tire shop doubles as a sanctuary and protects illegal immigrants. Kingsolver uses the motif of birds to symbolize the illegal immigrants and emphasize a theme of salvation. Taylor moves in with a self-deprecatory, single mother named Lou Ann Ruiz. Lou Ann changes her negative attitude over the course of the book, which adds on to the theme of backbone and internal strength. Turtle develops an attachment to vegetation, a motif of the novel that symbolizes growth and rebirth. Taylor, Turtle, Lou Ann’s son Dwayne Ray, and Lou Ann’s family-like qualities illustrates Kingsolver’s themes of a true home and family. At the end of the novel, Taylor faces a difficult situation in which she Taylor could lose Turtle to further highlight Kingsolver’s theme of true family. Kingsolver presents the tension between legality and morality through the depictions of her characters’ choices and values. In doing so, she underscores the message that shared morality, rather than legality, defines and creates a better family.
In The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, three characters in particular undergo a catharsis, each in their own way: Esperanza, Turtle, and Taylor. This paper will focus on the change on the development of the character Esperanza, showing the suffering and difficulties, she has undergone and how through a catharsis, this suffering was ameliorated.
Life is constantly changing, like clouds in the sky; always shifting and turning. People never really know which way life will turn next, bringing them fortune or failure. When you look at how things change it is best to compare it to something that you can relate it to. The changeable nature of life can be related to the novel 'The Bean Trees.' This is a book written almost entirely on dealing with changes in the characters lives.
Barbara Kingsolver uses irony and ____ in order to show differences in the roles of parents. Missy leaves her hometown and stops in a town to eat food. While there, a woman tries to give her a baby.
“Scotty Richey … killed himself on his sixteenth birthday … nobody could understand about Scotty … But the way I see it is, he just didn’t have anybody. … It was like we were all the animals on Noah’s ark that came in pairs, except of his kind there was only one” (Kingsolver 132-4). In Barbara Kingsolver’s novel The Bean Trees, Taylor mentions to Estevan her classmate Scotty Richey’s suicide. She explains that although her school had a very distinct social hierarchy, people within a class had each other for company. Scotty, however, had nobody. As a result of the extreme isolation he faced, he committed suicide. Today, bullying is a developing issue in the world and exclusion, which Scotty faced, is just one of many forms of bullying. What Scotty experienced in the novel occurs in schools around the world, and the consequences are unimaginable and horrific. In light of the increasingly advanced technology developed in recent years, cyberbullying has become a more common form of bullying among students. Cyberbullying, or bullying that occurs through the internet or media, happens due to the courage that bullies acquire by not having to physically face their victims. The harassment the victims experience lead to mental as well as physical health issues, which often times leads to suicide. In order to prevent such grave repercussions, education systems and parents must teach kids how to behave properly on the
The first social issue that Barbara Kingsolver wants to bring awareness to in The Bean Trees are refugees. Kingsolver sympathizes for the tall hurdles that refugees must overcome. She wants to prove that people who are not from America have the same value as those who are. In order to express this, Kingsolver uses Turtle as a symbol of the refugees as she was also separated from her parents and taken to a foreign land. By the end of the novel, Turtle finds a home within Taylor which is symbolic for Kingsolver's opinion that all refugees deserve a loving, accessible home. Virgie Parson is also a symbol for all Americans who have conservative political ideals and the nation’s haste towards allowing refugees and immigrants into our country. Although Virgie is not portrayed as evil, she is portrayed as having no sympathy for the consequences that alienating these aliens from our country will have and not thinking about the moral implications. By providing a happy ending for almost all the character, Kingsolver demonstrates how Refugees and American can both live peacefully as one.
Epiphanies are central to the plots of many novels. In the novel The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingslover, the main character, Taylor Greer, has an epiphany that changes the course of her life. After Turtle is traumatized in the park, Taylor withdraws from her and the rest of the world, believing that no nothing she does truly matters. As Turtle improves, Taylor realizes that her positive actions do make the world a better place. When Turtle begins to talk again, Taylor has an epiphany and realizes that every small compassionate action is important and that even she can help make the world a better place. As a result of her epiphany, Taylor is more willing to help others. The positive results of Taylor’s epiphany are first shown when she decides to fight for custody of
The book The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver, is a coming of age story about a young girl, Taylor, that is thrust into motherhood when a baby is left in her car. Taylor however, is not the only example of a mother in the story. There is Lou Ann and Esperanza, both literal mothers, but only one of them has their child to take care of. There is Mattie, one of the first people that Taylor meet in Tucson, and who becomes almost a surrogate-mother for both her, and also the refugees that she shelters. In all of the both literal and figurative examples of motherhood in the story, none of them really fit into the idea of a traditional family setting. Kingsolver is expressing to the reader that being a successful mother does not rely on whether the family is “normal”, but rather being able to do the best for your children.
Throughout the novel, the author, Barbara Kingsolver, uses various stylistic devices to create complex, symbolic, and significant literature that is also rich in meaning. In the assigned passage, Kingsolver incorporates several literary devices to capture the audience’s attention and leave them with something to think about post reading.
Birds are a personal symbol for Turtle’s development. Throughout the novel, birds are tied to Turtle and major events in her life. Turtle makes her first sound when the car stops suddenly to avoid a family of quail. “I slammed on the brakes and we all pitched forward… ‘I think that sound was a laugh’...In the road up ahead there was a quail, the type that has one big feather spronging out the front of its head like a forties-model ladies' hat. We could just make out that she was dithering back and forth in the road, and then we gradually could see that there were a couple dozen babies running around her every which way” (Kingsolver 106-107). Turtle and Taylor have become comfortable as a family and Turtle has recovered from her previous trauma to the point that she makes audible noises and expresses herself. Just as the family of Taylor and Turtle has brought joy to the lives of Lou Ann, Mattie, Esperanza and Estevan, this disruptive family of birds bring joy and laughter to Taylor and Turtle. When Taylor takes Turtle to the doctor and learns the extent of Turtle’s abuse, she sees a bird that has made its nest inside a cactus. “I looked through the bones to the garden on the other side. There was a cactus with bushy arms and a coat of yellow spines as thick as fur. A bird had built her nest in it. In and out she flew among the horrible spiny branches, never once hesitating. You just couldn't imagine how she'd made a home in there” (Kingsolver 137-138). Just as the bird has
Passage: He told me that the national symbol of the Indian people in Guatemala was the quetzal, a beautiful green bird with a long, long tail. I told him I had seen military macaws at the zoo, and wondered if the quetzal was anything like those. He said no. If you tried to keep this bird in a cage, it died (189)."
Author use many symbolism in the book The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. She uses symbolism because it makes it easier for readers to understand the deeper meaning or feeling of the character or the events that are happening. For example, author uses the symbolism of bean trees as transformation and Ismene as the abandoned children to show the deeper meaning of them.
The author Barbara Kingsolver once said, “Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” This means that mothers can go through great lengths and even break laws for their children. In the book “The Bean Trees”, Kingsolver portrays that quote by writing about Taylor’s experiences with an abandoned child named Turtle. Kingsolver included several characters in the book that act as mother figures. Barbara Kingsolver seems to be saying that a mother does not have to come biologically through the characters of Taylor, Lou Ann, and Mattie.
“You have a face only a mother could love” Although a harsh insult this is for most mothers a very true statement. A mother’s love is something that you will probably not experience until you have your very own children. Motherhood can be a very sentimental topic in literature, especially when there is conflict with a child and their mother figure. In the book The Bean Trees there are several mother figures that each express their love for their child, even going great lengths for them. Throughout the many great themes of The Bean Trees this one by far sticks out the most because the book is mainly about a mother taking care of her child, that isn’t even hers, making many sacrifices to give her the best life possible. The main character,
In the opening of her novel, Kingsolver introduces many families and touches on the topics of financial struggles, strong mother-daughter bonds, and the hardships that many families encounter. To begin with, the narrator, Taylor, mentions that her family, “ were any better than Hardbines or had a dime to our name… And for all I ever knew of my own daddy, I can’t say we weren’t, except for Mama swearing up and down that he was nobody I knew...” (2). The author makes it obvious that the narrator’s family consists of Taylor and her single mother, Alice Greer; although the narrator is raised in a non-traditional, financially challenged family, her mother embeds great confidence in her:...