Taylor's Life Choices in "The Bean Trees" by Barbara Kingsolver Essay

Taylor's Life Choices in "The Bean Trees" by Barbara Kingsolver Essay

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In The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, protagonist Taylor Greer is not your average teenage girl from Pittman, Kentucky. Taylor refuses to remain in her hometown forever, which only leads to teenage pregnancy and motherhood until death. On a mission to escape Pittman’s stereotypical teenage girl image, she buys a ‘55 Volkswagen and embarks on a journey west. Just when she thinks she is home free, Taylor is left with an abandoned three-year-old American Indian girl. Ironically, Taylor ends up as an unplanned single mother. The two end up living in Tucson, Arizona along with another recently single mother and her son. Had Taylor stayed in Pittman her metamorphose process would have differed greatly from her life in Tucson, Arizona
In both positive and negative ways, Taylor’s life would have ended up contrasting to how she would have lived it in Pittman. As I paraphrase, Taylor would have presumably become pregnant at a young age, and married to a tobacco farmer similar to every other teenage girl in Pittman (Kingsolver 3). Assuming Taylor would become pregnant; her child/children would have given her a much different experience of motherhood than her inherited daughter, Turtle, did. As Taylor said after first getting Turtle, “When I pulled off the pants and the diapers there were more bruises. Bruises and worse…That fact had already burdened her short life with a kind of misery I could not imagine” (Kingsolver 23). From what Taylor had seen and therefore inferred, was that this child had been beaten and sexually abused. Turtle’s pre-Taylor days were almost certainly filled with terror and abuse coming from someone in her family. This scarred her and caused Turtle to resort to a mute state. For Taylor, this creates a d...


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... blown up on top of a sign after a tire tractor blew up, she was petrified of the same thing happening to her.
The Arizona atmosphere was visibly different in both literal and nonliteral ways from Kentucky. Taylor’s lifestyle would have been drastically contrasting with how she thrived in her new home of Tucson. Apart from having a night and day experience at maternity, and getting a fresh start at life on her own, Taylor also met a new group of people who changed her in many ways. Lou Ann, who molded her into a better mother, Mattie, who helped her to overcome fears, Esperanza, though she spoke very little, managed to open Taylor’s eyes the horrors of a life she would never have to experience, and finally Turtle, who made Taylor realize what she loved most in life. Pittman, Kentucky did not have any of these individuals to teach the protagonist of this story.

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