Transformations in "The Bean Trees" by Barbara Kingsolver

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When thinking of birds, visualizing them building their nests in cacti certainly isn't the first thing that comes to mind. In the book, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, metaphorically everyone is constantly building their nests in cacti, and evolving from their experiences. From living in attics to taking trips across the country with no destination, characters in this book don't live what society considers the “conventional American lifestyle.” Growing and thriving in unexpected and unusual places and ways is nothing but average throughout the book. Taylor, despite unorthodox living arrangements or lifestyle, shows how living things are able to find methods of growing and changing. From great change in location to change within oneself, idiosyncratic development shapes the voyage this book takes.

As the protagonist, Taylor leads a life far from the ordinary, and gains matures and gains worldly knowledge through a journey most couldn't dream of. Deciding to leave her home in Pittman County, Kentucky she was the one to get away, both in mind and body. The culture of where she grew up didn't fit her personality, and she decided she wouldn't let herself fall into the life of the other people in her town. She bought a car and hit the road, with no plan or destination to adhere to. This journey shows the type of personality she possesses, and throughout the journey how it advances. Taylor was already quite an admirable person, and she already possessed many good traits. She was already independent and knew there was more to see in the world than what there was in Pittman County. She knew that there was room for improvement and infinite things to learn in the world, she just didn't know what they were. Sadly, most of what she lea...

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...inding a way to make what she wants happen. Lou Ann's total transformation from a timid housewife to a strong single mother came through unique experiences that she was able to thrive from.

From close-mouthed to communicative, oblivious to obsessed, indifferent to independent, The Bean Trees shows all sorts of changes that can occur in unimaginable situations. Making these transformations seem so real, Barbara Kingsolver effectively brings the book to life by allowing the characters to uniquely grow and thrive in all sorts of circumstances just like we do in the real world. Lessons could even be taken from what these people learned through their journeys in life and applied to how we carry ourselves in our daily lives. Independence, self confidence, persistence, and perseverance all prove to be integral qualities in succeeding in life no matter what it throws at us.

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