Effect of Multiple Plots in The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

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The Bean Trees, written by Barbara Kingsolver, uses multiple plots throughout the novel. At the beginning, two plots are introduced. One involves Missy/ Taylor, the protagonist in the story, and the other involves Lou Ann. Kingsolver unites these two plot by having them move in together. Other minor plots describe the life of other characters such as Estevan and Esperanza, Edna and Virgie, and Mattie. Multiple plots in The Bean Trees increase suspense and depth in the story.

The main characters in The Bean Trees are Taylor and Lou Ann. The first chapter is about Missy leaving Kentucky to find a better life. This chapter is written is 1st person, with Missy being the narrator. She is a person that is tired of her boring life, she changes her name to Taylor, and wants an adventure. She leaves home and goes on a road trip across America. Before Taylor began her trip, she stated, ?And so what I promised myself is that I would drive west until my car stopped running, and there I would stay? (Kingsolver 16). She later continued on Tucson, Arizona.

On her trip, a baby girl is abandoned with her by a Native American woman. She decides to take care of Turtle as her road trip goes on. Taylor now has someone to talk to during her trip. Unfortunately for Turtle, her life has been ?Tempest-Tossed? (301). In other words, her life hasn?t been trouble-free and she?s gone through many things. It is possible to predict that the bruises on her body when she was abandoned with Taylor, was from being molested. Half her time with Taylor was on the road, and she was adjusting to a new life.

The second chapter is about Lou Ann?s dilemma with her husband, Angel. This is written in omniscient limited point of view. Lou Ann and Angel have a young baby boy, Dwayne Ray. These two plots meet when Taylor responds to Lou Ann?s advertisement about a room mate, and they move in together. This gave the novel a unique introduction with two plots going on as the readers endure the suspense.

The novel seems to be set in one tiny area in Tucson. Lou Ann is heading home and has just pasted the Jesus.Is.Lord?s and Fanny Heaven, when the narrator creates a clear picture of the area: ?She rounded the corner and stopped to do some grocery shopping at the Lee Sing Market, which faced the park directly across from where she and Angel lived?
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