To What Extent Is Cultural Arrogance A Driving Force Of Conflict In The Poisonwood Bible?

4250 words - 17 pages

The Poisonwood Bible is a novel written by Barbara Kingsolver, portraying the life of the Price family, coming from Georgia to the Congo as a missionary family. By analyzing the cultural arrogance Kingsolver includes in the novel, it is possible to understand the many compositions the bring books, in relation to how the people live in comparison to different geographical and economical locations of the country, why certain things are necessary to happen and the relation of nature and man. Analyzing the cultural arrogance allows the readers to understand the two major perspectives in the book, and how they interact with each other.
The cultural arrogance found in this book is the driving force of any and all conflicts in the book, because it is the cause of conflict between nations, between the people in these nations, and last but not least, between the man and nature. Firstly, and more obviously, cultural arrogance will create a conflict between people of different nations. The Price family moves into Kilanga, a village in the middle of the Congo, thinking they know the most for coming from highly educated country. This means that this family alienates themselves from the rest of the village because of their way of thinking, avoiding any help from the neighbors, and judging their way of life, including their religion. As a missionary family, they went into Kilanga to try to convert the people there into Christianity. However, they failed their mission because they were unable to adapting their lives and way of thinking into the lives of the Congolese people, therefore they were unable to reach to them and teach them the “correct” way of living. This arrogance was in a much localized area, where it couldn’t affect many people. Very much related to religion, their arrogance towards the nature surrounding them also affected the Price family. They thought themselves to be immune to the dangers in the Congo because they were in the salvation of God. Because they had also never seen anything truly bad happen to a white family before, they thought themselves to be saved. The United States government on the other hand, managed to alter the way of life of the majority of the Congolese people with their arrogance towards them. They found themselves to be superior to them in any way; therefore they believed they could do anything to them, as long as they came out winning.
This paper will show and analyze how the cultural arrogance creates situations of conflict between different aspects in life. It will also analyze different types of conflict found in the book, such as man versus man, and man versus nature. The general approach taken in this essay will be by category, each one a different conflict, creating an effective result in the analysis. This allows the reader to see how each conflict is indeed a consequence of the cultural arrogance that Kingsolver talks about so much.
Man vs. Man
The most obvious and important conflict...

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