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It has often been suggested that some southwestern literature is based on the experiences of others. With this suggestion, it has been demonstrated that these experiences are incorporated with the intention of portraying the experiences of others as a learning tool; for both the reader and the writer. Some may also imply that literature, therefore, may impose a learning opportunity in itself. In correspondence with this belief, it must be suggested that the classic novel, The Bean Trees, could be considered a learning experience for the audience as well as Barbara Kingsolver in relation to the catalyzing character Marietta "Missy"/Taylor Greer along with additional inspirational characters that effect her and are likewise effected along the way.
Barbara Kingsolver is a part of the characters she creates just as much as her characters are a part of her. The storyline of her novel parallels the storyline of her own life discreetly, yet it's presence is undeniable given Barbaras background. Imagine being Kingsolver , uncomfortably pregnant and unable to sleep from the dreary darkness at dusk until the dully drawn dawn. She finds sanctuary in a clammy cramped closet where she begins to ease her mind by implementing her own distresses and successes through fictional characters with the unfortunate yet fortunate Bean Tree beginnings. Henceforth, an ongoing theme, such as single motherhood, is consistently demonstrated throughout the novel by the main character Taylor Greer, and accented by minor characters such as Lou Anne and Sandi. There are many more predominant themes presiding the literature including child abuse, poverty, homelessness, immigration, and monogamy, all implemented with inspiring strength. "I found my head rights, Mama. They're coming with me (Kingsolver 32)," Taylor declares upon acquiring Turtle. This point marks the movement of the novel henceforth, as Taylor learns the difference between a burden and a blessing.
For someone who is convicted of "illuminating the invisibles" through her work, Barbara Kingsolver surely sheds an eerie, dreary light on an oppressed Turtle. Ignorantly bathing in her innocence, Turtle is the spotlight of the dawn of human suffering, child abuse and molestation within the prose. The abused child splashes around the bathtub while Taylor fights to contain her repulse. "The Indian child was a girl. A girl, poor thing. That fact had already burdened her short life with a kind of misery I could not imagine.
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- Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees It has often been suggested that some southwestern literature is based on the experiences of others. With this suggestion, it has been demonstrated that these experiences are incorporated with the intention of portraying the experiences of others as a learning tool; for both the reader and the writer. Some may also imply that literature, therefore, may impose a learning opportunity in itself. In correspondence with this belief, it must be suggested that the classic novel, The Bean Trees, could be considered a learning experience for the audience as well as Barbara Kingsolver in relation to the catalyzing character Marietta "Missy"/Taylor Greer along with... [tags: Barbara Kingsolver Bean Trees Character Analysis]
1057 words (3 pages)
- In The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, protagonist Taylor Greer is not your average teenage girl from Pittman, Kentucky. Taylor refuses to remain in her hometown forever, which only leads to teenage pregnancy and motherhood until death. On a mission to escape Pittman’s stereotypical teenage girl image, she buys a ‘55 Volkswagen and embarks on a journey west. Just when she thinks she is home free, Taylor is left with an abandoned three-year-old American Indian girl. Ironically, Taylor ends up as an unplanned single mother.... [tags: Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver, ]
777 words (2.2 pages)
- Motherhood in The Bean Trees In the novel, The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver, we watch as Taylor grows a great deal. This young woman takes on a huge commitment of caring for a child that doesn't even belong to her. The friends that she acquired along the way help teach her about love and responsibility, and those friends become family to her and Turtle. Having no experience in motherhood, she muddles through the best she can, as all mothers do. Marietta was raised in a small town in Kentucky.... [tags: Kingsolver Bean Trees Essays]
757 words (2.2 pages)
- Since the creation of the United States, there have been several enormous waves of immigration into the country. Many people come here to pursue the freedom they have always craved. In the book, The Bean Trees, this is a familiar concept to the characters Estevan and Esperanza. They have migrated from Guatemala all the way to the state of Arizona where they will meet the protagonist, Taylor. Throughout the story Taylor learns the couple’s struggle of being undocumented immigrants in the United States.... [tags: The Bean Trees]
1170 words (3.3 pages)
- The Growth of Marietta in The Bean Trees Barbara Kingsolver, in the novel The Bean Trees, portrays the story of a young woman, Marietta Greer, learning about love, responsibility, friendship and the human condition. All of us can relate to the struggles of every day life; however, it is when we must deal with issues that we would rather run from that show our true character. Sooner or later, we all have to confront issues that life bestows on us. Marietta embarks on her journey west in a 1955 Volkswagen with a pledge to get away from Kentucky.... [tags: Kingsolver Bean Trees Essays]
722 words (2.1 pages)
- In an interview with Barbara Kingsolver by David Gergen, editor-at-large for U.S. News & World Report, Kingsolver states, I think everything I write is about the idea of community and about the special challenge in the United States of balancing our idealization of the individual, or glorification of, of personal freedom and the individual with the importance of community, how to balance those two offices. (Qtd. by Gergen) I found this idea of Kingsolver's to be the basis of her book The Bean Trees.... [tags: Kingsolver Bean Trees Essays]
2143 words (6.1 pages)
- Seeking Solace in The Bean Trees Many aspects of life are explored in Barbara Kingsolver's novel, The Bean Trees. A young woman named Marietta Greer from Kentucky wanted to strike out on her own, leaving behind everything she ever knew, just to start a new life. Many children want to do this at an early age so they can experience life on their own yet they don't realize the dangers involved.. Everyone that leaves the solace of their own home needs loving support to keep them going through life.... [tags: Kingsolver Bean Trees Essays]
728 words (2.1 pages)
- ... (11) Kingsolver" Mama wasn't convinced and waited for her to fix the tires. It must have put a dent in her fear, because later on as the story develops she found her self working at a tire shop. There at the tire shop she met Mattie, and Mattie took up a role like Mama did in her live. Mattie taught Taylor that all a tire could do was knock the breath out of you. It had to of worked cause Taylor continued her job there.>>>>> Taylor had many unforeseen misfortunes come her away in the novel.... [tags: coming of age]
605 words (1.7 pages)
- The Changeable Nature of Life in The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver 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.... [tags: Life Changes Bean Trees Essays Kingsolver]
515 words (1.5 pages)
- Survival in The Bean Trees In 1859, Charles Darwin published his most famous work, On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection (Encarta 96). This book explained Darwin's theory of natural selection, a process not unlike separating the wheat from the chaff, where the least fit are eliminated, and only the fittest survive. An extension of this theory known as Social Darwinism emerged in the late 19th century. "Social Darwinists believed that people, like animals and plants, compete for survival and, by extension, success in life" (Encarta 96).... [tags: Barbara Kingsolver The Bean Trees Essays]
3064 words (8.8 pages)
After traveling from one side of the country to the other, B. Kingsolver began to believe that writing bridges gaps. These gaps can be found anywhere from Texas to Tennessee, men to women, Mexican to American to any other ethnicity or culture. For example, her realistic writing includes the inhuman suffering of a quaint couple of refugees fleeing Guatemala during the time of the United Fruit Company's influence, including America's authority, leading to the destructive downfall of the Guatemalan government. As this couple struggles to keep their identity a secret and their presence unknown, Taylor tries to keep her feelings of affection and attraction for Estevan, the perceptive male partner, under control. Estevan maintains his integrity in intimate situations, such as the night Esperanza tries to kill herself, while he defends the nature of her attempted suicide as the result of the treacherous tribulations of torture they had undergone at the hands of Guatemalan officials. "I thought I'd had a pretty hard life. But I keep finding out that life can be hard in ways that I never knew about (Kingsolver 181)," Taylor admits upon apprehending the cruelty of the world. Estevan, a man of great integrity, whispers words of wisdom in return. "I can see how it would be easier not to know (Kingsolver 181)." In turn, Taylor is presented with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate her own integrity at the end of the night when they fall asleep in each other's arms. Upon Taylor's recognition that she cannot control the cruelties of the world as a whole, she realizes that she can control her own partaking of sin. At that point she uncovers her honor and unfolds herself from Estevan's warm, comfortable embrace.
Life and love are a heavy, heavy load that Taylor must manage along her own path of discovery. Hand in hand with Barbara, together they address and apply a heaping amount of life lessons within the novel, conquering many obstacles along the way. Barbara Kingsolver develops a successfully smart yet sassy style through the inspirational core character of Taylor in the shadow of The Bean Trees. Taking turn correspondingly, Taylor discovers and develops a part of herself that was once hidden deep inside. As she makes a tremendous transition from a Marietta/"Missy" to a true Taylor Greer, she is paralleled and propelled by her creator, Barbara Kingsolver.
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