The Poisonwood Bible and the Life of Barbara Kingsolver Essay example

The Poisonwood Bible and the Life of Barbara Kingsolver Essay example

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Humans have the unique ability to create artwork. Be that in the form of a painting, musical composition, or work of fiction, creativity is the ability to rearrange available materials to create something unique and innovative. Many writers view writing as a way to express their deepest ideas and emotions creatively. American journalist Earnest Hemmingway believed that “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Writers often will use their own life experiences to re-experience important parts of their lives and translate it into a story to share with the world. Barbara Kingsolver expresses her ideas on sexism, cultural imperialism, and religion by creating the fictional story of the Poisonwood Bible using her own life experiences as content for the story.
Childhood events can massively affect the direction and outcome of one’s life. Childhood is where people develop the aspects of themselves that determine who they are as a person and what they represent. Barbara Kingsolver fervently explores cultural imperialism in a way that relates back to her own childhood memories. Kingsolver recounts, “We lived in Central Africa… I got a real extreme look at what it’s like to be a minority. It was an enormous adventure that let me know at the age of seven that there’s a great big world out there” (Epstein). White Americans make up 72% of the population, which implies that many of them have never been a racial minority. Barbara Kingsolver was in the unique position as a white American seven year old to be able to experience being a racial minority and she thinks back on this when writing The Poisonwood Bible. Nathan Price and his family voyage to the Congo with the intention of spreading the Word of God t...


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...een Barbara Kingsolver’s own life and The Poisonwood Bible make it clear that she used many of her personal ideas and experiences to create a novel that shares her opinions on sexism, cultural imperialism, and religion.



Works Cited

Austenfeild, Anne Marie. “The Revelatory Narrative Circle in Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Poisonwood Bible.” Journal of Narrative Theory 36.2 (2006). 293-305. Project MUSE. Web 22 Jan. 2014.
Brill, Marlene. “America in the 1990’s.” Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Group, Inc. 2010. Print.
Contemporary Authors Online. Database. Gale, 2002.
DeMarr, Mary Jean. Barbara Kingsolver: A Critical Companion. London: Greenwood press. 1999. Print.
Epstein, Robin. “Barbara Kingsolver.” The Progressive, Feb. 1996. Biography in context. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1952. 1955. Print.


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