The Poisonwood Bible

2189 Words Dec 26th, 2012 9 Pages
Intro People always greatly and negatively impact each other, though they believe it to be for the greater good. In the 1950’s European and American imperialism tore asunder what tranquility there was in the Congo. These countries may have not been aware of their influence at the time, but the outcome nonetheless was drastic. Cultural misunderstandings were the ultimate catalyst for the Congo’s destruction. In Barbara Kingsolver’s novel The Poisonwood Bible published in 1998 she exposes how cultural ignorance creates problems. With her chosen syntax, point of view, and time gap of each narrator Kingsolver exposes how close mindedness creates unfulfilled results because individuals can not adapt to cultural changes.

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All she wanted was his approval and recognition, but as time progressed she no longer valued his values the same way. Throughout the text “ Leah, who sees with the eyes of an intelligent, flexible learner, presents historical and cultural details...integrates all types of knowledge into her narratives” (Austenfeld). For example Leah embraced African culture while her father never condoned it. Leah Price’s pivotal moment follows at the church’s vote. While the congregation votes on “tata Jesus” The Preacher stands up and spits wounding words in all directions. As her father insultes the native’s culture she no longer considers her father to be a holy man. Even though she was raised around his teachings she no longer considers him to be of pure intentions. Since “Nathan is arrogant, inflexible, and passionately committed” he never attempted to learn the society’s needs he just wanted to create Christian clones for his own selfish salvation. In the end she finally states, “If I had a prayer left in me, it was that this red-faced man [Nathaniel] shaking with rage would never lay a hand on me again” officially ending her glorious thoughts towards her father (Kingsolver 333). Since the reader progressed though Leah’s bildungsroman they realize Nathaniel's inability to adapt created an individual worthy of a monstrous title.

Another strong candidate in the reader’s mind is Ruth May, she is innocent.
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