Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees

942 Words2 Pages

In Barbara Kingsolver’s, The Bean Trees, several of the main characters encountered issues concerning immigration, the American Dream, and racial prejudice. Quite often, these themes parallel events that took place in American history, thus making The Bean Trees a retelling of the story of America. The United States of America is a country started from a “promiscuous breed… of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Germans, and Swedes.” (Crévecoeur 7). This fact makes the concept of racial prejudice considerably ironic since the people of America were not made up of one supreme race. Nonetheless, several instances of racial prejudice occurred throughout American history and throughout The Bean Trees. While Lou Ann’s Mother and Grandmother were …show more content…

This prejudice had stemmed from ignorance over the Hispanic culture. Lou Ann’s grandmother and mother construed all Hispanics on the negative end of the spectrum based on racial misconceptions. Characters in The Bean Trees were not the only ones to suffer from bigotry. In John Smith’s account of Pocahontas, he disdainfully refers to the Native Americans as salvages and speaks incredibly poorly of them (Smith 24). Much like Lou Ann’s family, John Smith knew very little about the race he held a prejudice against. He had simply relied on stories and stereotypes presented by other oblivious people. When Taylor and her friends were partaking in a meal, Mrs. Parson’s muttered in response to Estevan’s story stating, “Before you know it the whole world will be here jibbering and jabbering till we won’t know it’s America.”(Kingsolver 118). Yet, America itself was built upon a nation of people who not only “jibber jabbered” but came from all different backgrounds and races (Crévecoeur 6). It is a concept repeated throughout history that no one is exempt

Open Document