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Transformations In "The Bean Trees" By Barbara Kingsolver

1474 words - 6 pages

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. Taylor, despite unorthodox living arrangements or lifestyle, shows how living things are able to find methods of growing and changing. From great change in location to change within oneself, idiosyncratic development shapes the voyage this book takes.
As the protagonist, Taylor leads a life far from the ordinary, and gains matures and gains worldly knowledge through a journey most couldn't dream of. Deciding to leave her home in Pittman County, Kentucky she was the one to get away, both in mind and body. The culture of where she grew up didn't fit her personality, and she decided she wouldn't let herself fall into the life of the other people in her town. She bought a car and hit the road, with no plan or destination to adhere to. This journey shows the type of personality she possesses, and throughout the journey how it advances. Taylor was already quite an admirable person, and she already possessed many good traits. She was already independent and knew there was more to see in the world than what there was in Pittman County. She knew that there was room for improvement and infinite things to learn in the world, she just didn't know what they were. Sadly, most of what she learns throughout her journey is of the pain and suffering many people live through. As she meets new people and sees new places, her knowledge of the world changes, but she never sways from believing in what is right and just. “'Don’t ignore it, then,' I said. 'Talk back to it. Say, ‘You can’t do that number on me, you shit-for-brains.’ . . . What I’m saying is you can’t just sit there, you got to get pissed off'” (150). Taylor is the gutsy type of person who doesn't let anything crack at her wit or spirit, although she is naïve about the atrocities that exist in the world.. After learning about political corruption and the plight of illegal immigrants such as Estevan and Esperanza, many would have a colder and more bitter view of the world. Taylor, however, takes a more tenderhearted stance on the situation and shows sympathy to those dealing with such difficulties. Her enthusiasm toward this topic certainly increases and develops throughout the book as she discovers more and more about the cruelty. For example, during Mattie’s debate about the treatment of illegal immigrants, she talked about how a woman and her son were returned to El Salvador and claimed to have been taken into custody, but they were later found dead...

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