Injustice Towards Immigrants Exposed in Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees

1170 Words5 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. Along the way, she will learn about Estevan and Esperanza’s heart-breaking background stories as well. These characters will journey on through life despite the hardships of immigration. The book shows the struggle that they should not have to put up with. Barbara Kingsolver, the author of The Bean Trees, illustrates an immigrant’s point of view by applying literary elements, which encourages readers to feel sympathy towards immigrants, the social problems faced, and to see how unfair immigration laws are.
As immigrants struggle against their problems, the author of The Bean Trees integrates elements of fiction in order to raise awareness and sympathy towards their situation. Kingsolver used plot points in rising action in order to achieve this. One of the plot points that caused sympathy was finding out Estevan and Esperanza’s story. As mentioned before, they are illegal immigrants. They were temporarily living in a car shop where the protagonist, Taylor, was working. As she got close to them, she soon found out their hardest struggle in coming to Arizona. “Ismene wasn’t killed; she was taken” (Kingsolver 136). Ismene was the couple’s child who was taken by the government of the previous country they were living in, Guatemala. They...

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...readers to step into an immigrant’s shoes such as Estevan and Esperanza’s. The author showed their hard past which caused readers to feel sympathy. Also, Kingsolver explained the social difficulties of immigrants. Those difficulties correspond to the discriminating laws they must face on a daily basis. These themes, in turn, are suggesting the struggles they go through in life shouldn’t have to be put up with. Kingsolver’s message is powerful enough to be rooted in the minds of Americans who read her artistic novel, The Bean Trees. And this small, implanted idea is sprouting into something that will change the fate of immigrants for the better.

Works Cited

The Elkhart Truth. Truth Publishing, 30 Mar. 2008. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. .
Kingsolver, Barbara. The Bean Trees. New York: Harper & Row, 1988. Print.
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