Seeking Solace in Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees

Seeking Solace in Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees

Length: 728 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Seeking Solace in The Bean Trees

 

Many aspects of life are explored in Barbara Kingsolver's novel, The Bean Trees. A young woman named Marietta Greer from Kentucky wanted to strike out on her own, leaving behind everything she ever knew, just to start a new life. Many children want to do this at an early age so they can experience life on their own yet they don't realize the dangers involved.. Everyone that leaves the solace of their own home needs loving support to keep them going through life.

 

Marietta Greer starts her journey by heading west across the United States in a run-down old car. She decides at the start that wherever the car breaks down will become her new home. When she stops at a diner one night for something to eat, she is suddenly left with a baby dropped off by an elderly Indian woman with no reasons why. Marietta tells her "If I wanted a baby I would have stayed in Kentucky" (24). Continuing her lonely trek, she changes her name to Taylor and ends up keeping the child and caring for her. When she finally arrives at her unknown destination, Taylor gets a job at a tire company working for a nice lady named Mattie and moves in with Lou Ann, also a single mother. She develops close friendships with them, and they all help each other through good times and bad. Taylor starts getting stronger feelings for the child, Turtle, and eventually adopts her through deceiving means with her new friends Estevan and Esperanza. Taylor keeps in touch with her mother, and she was thrilled her mother was supportive of her decision to adopt Turtle.

 

There are some things I would have changed about the novel to make it more interesting reading and to broaden the type of audience it addresses. In my opinion, the book was kind of targeted at a feminine audience, especially single mothers. When Taylor and Lou Ann get together, Lou Ann sounds kind of pathetic saying " Who in the world would want to move in here with us" (102), yet they develop a strong friendship regardless. I had kind of a hard time focusing on what was going on and who was doing what mainly because the story wasn't interesting enough to attract my attention. Perhaps by throwing in a little more suspense or more action, the novel would have been more fun to read.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Seeking Solace in Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees." 123HelpMe.com. 22 May 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=9366>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

When I Was Gone by Sue Miller and The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver Essay

- The loss of belonging is often perceived as a negative concept; however, this loss sparks a long journey to self-discovery which ultimately transforms an individual. In Sue Miller’s When I Was Gone and Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees, the female protagonists, Jo Becker and Taylor Greer, are consumed by emptiness and a sense of loss. With adolescence comes pressure; they are pressured to conform to notions of social conventions. However, this pressure eventually leads to a reluctance to conform to social expectations and they soon reject societal views....   [tags: role of women, motherhood, docile]

Research Papers
1578 words (4.5 pages)

Essay about Transformations in "The Bean Trees" by Barbara Kingsolver

- 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....   [tags: The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver]

Research Papers
1418 words (4.1 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver, ]

Research Papers
777 words (2.2 pages)

Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees Essay

- Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees It has often been suggested that some southwestern literature is based on the experiences of others. With this suggestion, it has been demonstrated that these experiences are incorporated with the intention of portraying the experiences of others as a learning tool; for both the reader and the writer. Some may also imply that literature, therefore, may impose a learning opportunity in itself. In correspondence with this belief, it must be suggested that the classic novel, The Bean Trees, could be considered a learning experience for the audience as well as Barbara Kingsolver in relation to the catalyzing character Marietta "Missy"/Taylor Greer along with...   [tags: Barbara Kingsolver Bean Trees Character Analysis]

Free Essays
1057 words (3 pages)

Motherhood in Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees Essay

- Motherhood in The Bean Trees In the novel, The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver, we watch as Taylor grows a great deal. This young woman takes on a huge commitment of caring for a child that doesn't even belong to her. The friends that she acquired along the way help teach her about love and responsibility, and those friends become family to her and Turtle. Having no experience in motherhood, she muddles through the best she can, as all mothers do. Marietta was raised in a small town in Kentucky....   [tags: Kingsolver Bean Trees Essays]

Free Essays
757 words (2.2 pages)

Balancing the Individual with the Community in Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees

-     In an interview with Barbara Kingsolver by David Gergen, editor-at-large for U.S. News & World Report, Kingsolver states, I think everything I write is about the idea of community and about the special challenge in the United States of balancing our idealization of the individual, or glorification of, of personal freedom and the individual with the importance of community, how to balance those two offices. (Qtd. by Gergen) I found this idea of Kingsolver's to be the basis of her book The Bean Trees....   [tags: Kingsolver Bean Trees Essays]

Free Essays
2143 words (6.1 pages)

The Growth of Marietta in Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees Essay

- The Growth of Marietta in The Bean Trees Barbara Kingsolver, in the novel The Bean Trees, portrays the story of a young woman, Marietta Greer, learning about love, responsibility, friendship and the human condition. All of us can relate to the struggles of every day life; however, it is when we must deal with issues that we would rather run from that show our true character. Sooner or later, we all have to confront issues that life bestows on us.   Marietta embarks on her journey west in a 1955 Volkswagen with a pledge to get away from Kentucky....   [tags: Kingsolver Bean Trees Essays]

Research Papers
722 words (2.1 pages)

The Changeable Nature of Life in The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver Essay

- The Changeable Nature of Life in The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver Life is constantly changing, like clouds in the sky; always shifting and turning. People never really know which way life will turn next, bringing them fortune or failure. When you look at how things change it is best to compare it to something that you can relate it to. The changeable nature of life can be related to the novel 'The Bean Trees.' This is a book written almost entirely on dealing with changes in the characters lives....   [tags: Life Changes Bean Trees Essays Kingsolver]

Research Papers
515 words (1.5 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: The Bean Trees]

Research Papers
1170 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

- ... (11) Kingsolver" Mama wasn't convinced and waited for her to fix the tires. It must have put a dent in her fear, because later on as the story develops she found her self working at a tire shop. There at the tire shop she met Mattie, and Mattie took up a role like Mama did in her live. Mattie taught Taylor that all a tire could do was knock the breath out of you. It had to of worked cause Taylor continued her job there.>>>>> Taylor had many unforeseen misfortunes come her away in the novel....   [tags: coming of age]

Research Papers
605 words (1.7 pages)

Related Searches

It was written a little too much like a biography of someone's life, and the characters were not described in enough detail to give me an actual picture of what people looked like and what was going on. In general, the book needs to be more interesting to read and appeal to different groups of people.

 

I enjoyed this novel from just a plain reader's point of view. The story flowed together naturally, and it was easy to read. The use of characters was excellent, and each person in the story had a specific reason for being mentioned. The story also creates an in-depth realization of the troubles a lot of single mothers go through, "If anything Lou Ann, you're just too good of a mother" (210) and how they are able to stay strong and resolve problems that come up in everyday life. The author relays a lot of real life situations people go through everyday and gives possible suggestions through a piece of fiction for people in the world to solve their problems.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes stories about people striking out on their own and facing challenges in the world. The novel relayed specific details about Taylor's background, "I was not the smartest or even particularly outstanding, but I was there and staying out of trouble and I intended to finish" (3), and foreshadowed the types of challenges that she wouldn't be able to handle. The book is very descriptive in each scene making the story line flow and easy to read. A lot of people could easily identify with the problems that Taylor occasionally ran into, especially single mothers who are trying to live on their own without having anyone to depend on. I also think that women in particular would enjoy this book.

 



Works Cited

Kingsolver, Barbara. The Bean Trees. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com