In The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver, the romantic standards that are associated with literature during the American Renaissance are evident. This popular novel, a New York Times Bestseller, embodies the concept of Romanticism with its gothic darkness, themes of loss and nostalgia, and a strong captivity narrative. The presence of a wise child and recurring double language are essential to the plot of the story. Nathan Price's misguided mission to save souls in the Congo is transformed into an evil that invades a type of Paradise and so, the reader realizes immediately that this twisted attempt to Christianize the savages will result in a fall of epic proportions. The impending fall and the results are set against a backdrop of revolution and oppression and the Gothic element permeates the narrative as well as the lives of characters throughout The Poisonwood Bible. If analogy and metaphor are the standard trope of Romanticism, this book could serve as an encyclopedic text. Each page is packed with figurative language that transforms and mystifies while using romantic imagery that creates alternately a 'Paradise' and a 'Hell'. "There's a majesty, a 19th-century-novel echo to this sweeping vision of nature doing its thing independent of the human will" (Kerr 7). American Romanticism, as a pattern for successful literature, resounds throughout this modern text.
The Poisonwood Bible is a novel about an American family in the early 1960's. Nathan Price, a Baptist missionary, takes his wife and four daughters to a remote village in the Congo, Kilanga. His fervor for bringing souls to Christ is tempered with ingrained habits of racial superiority. Even th...
... middle of paper ...
...rk: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999.
Budick, Emily M. Engendering Romance: Women Writers and the Hawthorne Tradition 1850-1990. Michigan:BookCrafters, 1994.
Fiedler, Leslie A. Love and Death in the American Novel. New York: Stein and Day, 1966.
Kakutani, Michiko. "The Poisonwood Bible: A Family a Heart of Darkness." The New York Times on the Web. 16 October 1998. http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/11/daily/kingsolver-book-review.html>.
Kerr, Sarah. "The Novel As Indictment." The New York Times on the Web 11 October 1998. http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/11/daily/kingsolver-magazine.html.
Kingsolver, Barbara. The Poisonwood Bible. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1990.
Klinkenborg, Verlyn. "Going Native." The New York Times on the Web. 18
October 1998. http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/18/reviews/981018.18linket.html.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Faith in Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible Throughout the Poisonwood Bible, Kingsolver utilizes the experience of the Congo to enhance and rediscover the faith of three of the Price daughters. At the age of fifteen, Rachel, the Price's oldest child, reveals her true beliefs of her religion through her petulant remarks of the Congo. During her stay in Africa, Rachel only talks of possessions she left behind. Rachel misses items such as toilet paper and sets of clean clothes. She, however, doesn't mention the bible in the list of items she longs for.... [tags: Kingsolver Poisonwood Bible]
660 words (1.9 pages)
- Since its 1998 publication, The Poisonwood Bible has primarily been seen as a statement against American exceptionalism. Upon analyzing the novel it is obvious that subjects such as imperialism, religion, the burden of guilt, and the use of, or lack thereof, voices, contribute to multiple points and themes found in the novel. In Susan Strehle’s current article on American exceptionalism explicitly relating to The Poisonwood Bible, she manipulates the topics and themes found in the novel to support her opinion.... [tags: Literary Analysis ]
2092 words (6 pages)
- Explication of theme: The Poisonwood Bible exemplifies the importance of language, especially foreign languages. It is fairly obvious that language plays a role in this work- an English-speaking white Christian family moves to a rich, multicultural society. This new society has picked up on “easy” English phrases, but also speaks French, and its native African languages. Language can be seen as not only a sign of knowledge and scholarship, but a sign of close or open-mindedness. Language is associated with imperialism (especially in this novel, and especially relating to the United States).... [tags: Importance of Language, Literary Analysis]
1610 words (4.6 pages)
- ... The story reads, “Women are expected to wear just one style of garment and no other. But the men, now that is a course of different color” (44). By this, Rachel is explaining how the men in the Congo get to wear whatever they want to wear, whereas the women are segregated and made to wear the same thing every single day. In the novel, Orleanna says, “I was his instrument, his animal. Nothing more. How we wives and mothers do perish at the hands of our own righteousness” (89). Orleanna is stating that she is a like a slave to her husband and must drop everything for him.... [tags: congo, feminist characteristics]
745 words (2.1 pages)
- ... She never truly comes to terms with it and gains exponentially more regrets as she ages. Leah shows an example of someone unable to let go, who instead carries the guilt and lets it eat away at her. Because she was never able to come to terms with any of the past events, her soul will forever be burdened. Forgiveness of one’s self is freeing but first one must accept that the past is irreversible. Another way to deal with one’s past regrets is to find ways to cooperate, such as searching for logical explanations and finding peace in logic instead of letting feelings take over.... [tags: repressing memory, past regret]
915 words (2.6 pages)
- The Poisonwood Bible is the story of an evangelical Baptist preacher named Nathan Price who uproots his wife and four daughters from the modern culture of America and moves them to the Kilanga Village in the Belgian Congo as missionaries. He is bullheaded and obstinate in all his ways. His approach is inflexible, unsympathetic, and unaccepting of the culture and customs of the people of Kilanga. Nathan Price exemplifies the words of Romans 2:4 that says, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” He did not share the goodness of God, but sought to spread his uncompromising pious agenda.... [tags: god, modern culture, pious agenda]
683 words (2 pages)
- Overcoming Bias While Promoting Hospitality in the Subject Catalog Is it possible for the subject catalog to remain hospitable to users while also striving to be unbiased. This question has undoubtedly been raised in many professional circles during discussions surrounding subject analysis and the subject catalog. Perhaps the key is acknowledging the inherent subjectivity of subject analyzation and therefore acknowledge the continual existence of a certain amount of bias and inhospitality within the subject catalog.... [tags: Subject Catalog]
851 words (2.4 pages)
- 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.... [tags: literary and biographical analysis]
1132 words (3.2 pages)
- Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver is the author of many well-written pieces of literature including The Poisonwood Bible. This novel explores the beauty and hardships that exist in the Belgian Congo in 1959. Told by the wife and four daughters of a fierce Baptist, Nathan Price, Kingsolver clearly captures the realities this family and mission went through during their move to the Congo. The four daughters were raised in Atlanta Georgia in the 1950’s therefore entering the Congo with preconceived racial beliefs, and a very different way of life than they would soon experience.... [tags: English Literature Essays]
1936 words (5.5 pages)
- Romanticism When we think of romance or romantic we often associate the term with love. People talk about how they want their significant others to be more ‘romantic’. But what does the term ‘romantic’ really mean. Does it mean giving flowers, spending an evening alone by candlelight, bringing home extravagant gifts, or reciting beautiful poetry. Within today’s society it can mean any one of those things and many more. But in the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century (1780-1830)Romance was considered something different altogether.... [tags: Romanticism Essays]
669 words (1.9 pages)
- An Inward Collapse of the Human Perspective in Forster's A Passage to India
- Symbols and Symbolism in the Poems of Robert Frost
- Comparing the Gettysburg Address and Ginsberg's America
- Cancer - Separating Science from Sensationalism
- Exemplification Essay: Abortion is Wrong
- Exemplification Essay: Abortion and America’s Lost Moral Compass