In this story “The Bean Trees” by Barbara Kingslover we meet Taylor Greer, an average teenager from Pittman, Kentucky. Even though Taylor has never been through anything truly horrific in her life how can she truly understand how unpleasant the world can be? Taylor’s personal growth in the “The Bean Trees” is a part of an uncertain journey because Taylor is thrown into motherhood and forced to see the bad experiences people go through in life.
In the beginning of the story we see that Taylor is an average teenage girl living with a single mother. She says, “But I stayed in school. I was not the smartest or even particularly outstanding but I was there and staying out of trouble” (3). She was called “Missy” for a lot of her childhood but when she was three she said, “I stamped my foot and told my mother not to call me Marietta but Miss Marietta” (2). From Taylor’s childhood I find that she had a sense of personal pride and could defend herself. These really are great attributes and we really see these attributes grow more and mature throughout the story.
Taylor only had two goals in her life at the start of this book and these were to not get pregnant and leave Pittman, Kentucky one day. She fulfills one of these by leaving the only home she has ever known and drives west with little money and no real plan on what she is going to do. Taylor is determined to avoid being tied down. She says, “I knew the scenery of Greenup Road, which we called Steam-It-Up-Road, and I knew what a pecker looked like, and none of these sights had so far inspired me to get hogtied to a future as a tobacco farmer's wife" (3). She is filled with ambition and drive. Taylor wants more than what Pittman offers. Taylor leaving Kentucky is showing how she is becoming more of a risk taker and although not knowing exactly where she is headed seems a bit irresponsible I believe it is exactly the kind of risk Taylor needed to take. It is scary to leave the only place you have ever known but Taylor is courageous and this courage she has grows throughout her journey
. The best way for her to grow and learn is through experience and that is exactly what she got. It is ironic that she left Kentucky to avoid getting pregnant, and then right in the beginning of her journey she is thrown into motherhood. When Turtle was flung upon her Taylor really just went with the flow and seemed calm, but she was terrified. She says, “I realized I had no business just assuming I could take responsibility for a child’s life” (186). She knows that she took on a huge responsibility but once her love for Turtle grew she knew that she wanted to accept that responsibility and in return she gains Turtle’s love back. The courage she started out with before this trip has now grown and it’s helping her in a positive way by allowing her to help out this abandoned young child.
In the beginning Taylor was determined to have her freedom, but once Turtle comes into her life she recognizes...