Characters: Characters play a major role in the novel The Bean Trees, however Taylor Greer or formally known as Missy Marietta plays the largest role in the novel. “… she entertained me with her vegetable-soup song, except that now there were people mixed in with the beans and potatoes… And me. I was the main ingredient,”(Kingsolver 246). This quote describes Taylor to the point, because she is the main ingredient to many people’s lives. However, it also shows how Taylor may be somewhat self centered. Many of those people rely on her and would not be the people they are if it wasn’t for her.
Taylor is a smart, brave, and courageous young lady. One of the first times the reader really gets to see Taylor’s true colors is when she decides that she is going to leave; she buys her car and tells her ma goodbye. The reader can see that she is also loving and affectionate when she takes Turtle and becomes a mother to the child; where a lot of young women in her situation would have chosen a different route than she did with Turtle. “Taylor is a survivor and makes the best of her circumstances,”(The Bean Trees); is a terrific quote that explains her life wonderfully.
She may be only a young woman, but she can move mountains. Another character that stands out to the reader is the young indian girl named Turtle or is also known as April Turtle. Taylor says the following to Turtle, “You’re like a mud turtle. If a mud turtle bites you, it won’t let go till it thunders,”(Kingsolver 23). What Taylor said describes Turtle, but it also helps you understand some of what may be going on. This quote at this time could worry a reader, because the reader is not sure if Taylor is going to keep Turtle for sure yet.
If this young girl is holding on to her like this; what is going to happen if she leaves her. This young child had been harmed physically and sexually in the three years she had been on the earth. Turtle finds someone who treats her like she should be treated, like a angel, and she holds on just like a mud turtle. She starts off very shy due to her past, but as the story goes on she blossoms into the wonderful flower she is. The reader sees how much Turtle is starting to open up and feel safe as the story goes on, but then the reader can also see how fast she can close up again after the night at the park.
However, that night did affect the young girl; Turtle is stronger than that, and she soon opened up again. Turtle goes through a lot, but that will make this wonderful child so much stronger in the future. Lastly, a character who had her own struggles, while trying to help Turtle and Taylor. Lou Ann Ruiz is the person that taylor and Turtle move in with and soon become like a family. Lou Ann maybe a little overweight from having a baby she is still a loving and kind hearted person, who would help anyone in need.
She connects to the theme choices and consequences, by showing how Angel’s choice to leave made her life in the end the best it had ever been. Lou Ann is talking to Taylor when she says, “… | feel like the only reason I have friends at all is because I’m always careful not to say something totally dumb, and if i blow it just one time, than that’s it,”(Kingsolver 89). When Lou Ann tells Taylor this it shows the reader a side of Lou Ann, that shows a person who really cares about what other people think of her.
She shows how she a lot of time is not herself; a lot of time it is like she wears a mask, because the does not want to hurt anyone or lose anyone. Even though she has that side of her Lou Ann still has a large heart, and learns that she does not care what people think and just becomes herself. Setting: The main setting of the novel The Bean Trees is Arizona; where Taylor and Lou Ann are both strangers too. Being both grew up in different parts of Kentucky, both of than think that the landscape and weather is strange, but also somewhat exoctic.
While talking to Estevan, taylor said the following, “I come from a place that’s so different from here you would think you’d stepped right off the map into some country where they use dirt for decoration and the national pastime is having babies,”(Kingsolver 141). The setting of Arizona supports the theme of choices and consequences. The choices the characters made brought them to the place they are now, whether good or bad; it’s the consequence of their choices. The setting gives the reader some perspective on how the characters struggled throughout the novel.
It may have been a strange and sometimes crazy setting, but to the characters it soon became home. Theme: In the novel The Bean Trees the reader may identify many themes, however two may stick out the most to the reader. Friendship and choices and consequences are the two themes that may stick out alittle more than the others. First friendship can be seen all throughout the novel of The Bean Trees; when Taylor befriends Mattie, Lou Ann, or Estevan. Without the friendships the characters made they would not have been able to adapt to the struggles in their lives.
They were not only friends to them, but they were their therapists, their babysitters, their family, and their backbones. “… she entertained me with her vegetable-soup song, except that now there were people mixed in with the beans and potatoes: Dwayne Ray, Mattie, Esperanza, Lou Ann and all the rest. And me,”(Kingsolver 246). This quote shows how each character has its own struggles, its own flavor, but in the end to make the soup taste magnificent it needs all of them. All the different flavors or character.
If it didn’t have just one the whole moral of the story or taste of the soup would be off. The friendships that the characters build is like soup, the better the friendships are the better the soup tastes. Another theme that the reader may pick out from the novel is choices and consequences. As the reader reads the novel they will find many times that the characters have to deal with their consequences; some may be good and some may be bad. Either way they still have to deal with them. Like when Taylor decides to leave home; she has to deal with all those consequences.
The reader could see the novel being all consequences; like the character ran out of gas here so this happens, than this, and so on. Without the consequences in the novel, the novel wouldn’t be what it is. One place in the story where the reader can see the choices and consequences come into play can be seen in the following quote where Edna said, “oh my dear, I feel terrible. If | had only thought to come in a little sooner,”(Kingsolver 175). This quote is from the night in the park; when something bad happened to turtle. If only Edna had come early this may not have happened or may be it would have happened early in the day.
Its just the consequences to the choice that was made by Edna and the person who tried to hurt Turtle. Not just one choice was given that night, but many, which resulted in many consequences. Introduction: Many young people these days do as much reading as they should. They do not get to on all the magical adventures reading allows the reader to go on. Some people argue about whether the younger generation should be reading fiction or nonfiction. When in all reality, they need to read some of both too really further their mind.
One fiction book that will make the reader think about they are reading and possible connect it to their lives is the the novel The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. The novel starts off with a young lady talking about her high school years and how she got away from her town. She than goes on to tell the reader about some of her experiences, like how she got daughter Turtle. The novel tells the reader all about Taylor and Turtle’s experiences and struggles down the road. The reader also gets introduced to characters like Mattie, Lou Ann, Estevan and his wife, and lots more.
This novel is one that the reader could relate to and could possibly put themselves in the characters shoes. Thesis: Nobody denies, that in the novel The Bean Tree the reader can pick out many thesis. However one that may stand out is that the novel is about finding one’s self and what they really care about. The characters throughout the whole novel seem to be searching for who they really are and what they truly want in life. As the reader can see the character of Lou Ann is lost after her husband Angel leaves, but as the story goes on she grows as a person and finds what she truly needed in life.
Same with the character Taylor; her whole dream through life was to leave, but she never really knew herself or what she wanted tell she landed in Arizona. The character’s ,ay have found themselves, but they also helped each other find themselves and what they truly wanted. This novel is about the characters finding themselves and what they truly want in life, but it is also about how strangers can become family. Biography: The author of The Bean Trees is Barbara Kingsolver. She was born in 1955, in Annapolis, Maryland; she grew up in a rural part of Kentucky (The Bean Trees).
Barbara moved to Africa with her father when she was in second grade. Where she took up writing in a journal,(Woods). “Her contact in Arizona with people from Latin AMerica, particularly refugees, influenced Kingsolver’s choice of subject matter when she turned to fiction. Published in 1988, The Bean Trees was her first novel,”(The Bean Trees). Barbara has been awarded several different awards. One award was the Bellwether Prize for fiction in 1977; the award recognizes literature of social change, (Woods).
Kingsolver appears to be a very well respected author, and has made a change with her writing. Connection: Lastly, the novel The Bean Trees had an influence on my life; it made me rethink how lucky i am to have the family i have. Sometimes I overlook the small things that i think are not that important, but when in all reality i am lucky to to have those small things. One thing in the novel that really made me stop and rethink is when Turtle was at the park and almost got seriously hurt; people, me including, do not think that incidents like that happen that much, but they do.
They can seriously change a person’s life. This novel opened my eyes to so many things. Many people think reading is just something schools do to punish students, but it is actually something that can take you on magical journeys. Something that can open your eyes to reality and that life is not always perfect. Reading is a thing that more teens these days need to do, for it can open up so many possibilities and some many adventures. My eyes have opened a little wider and my mind is a little smarter after reading this book, which I think is the best outcome for reading.