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A Trail Of Change; From Modest Missy To True Taylor

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A Trail of Change: From Modest Missy to True Taylor

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 additional inspirational characters that effect her and are likewise effected along the way.

Barbara Kingsolver is a part of the characters she creates just as much as her characters are a part of her. The storyline of her novel parallels the storyline of her own life discreetly, yet it's presence is undeniable given Barbara's background. Imagine being Kingsolver , uncomfortably pregnant and unable to sleep from the dreary darkness at dusk until the dully drawn dawn. She finds sanctuary in a clammy cramped closet where she begins to ease her mind by implementing her own distresses and successes through

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fictional characters with the unfortunate yet fortunate Bean Tree beginnings. Henceforth, an ongoing theme, such as single motherhood, is consistently

demonstrated throughout the novel by the main character Taylor Greer, and accented by minor characters such as Lou Anne and Sandi. There are many more predominant themes presiding the literature including child abuse, poverty, homelessness, immigration, and monogamy, all implemented with inspiring strength. "I found my head rights, Mama. They're coming with me (Kingsolver 32)," Taylor declares upon acquiring Turtle. This point marks the movement of the novel henceforth, as Taylor learns the difference between a burden and a blessing.

For someone who is convicted of "illuminating the invisibles" through her work, Barbara Kingsolver surely sheds an eerie, dreary light on an oppressed Turtle. Ignorantly bathing in her innocence, Turtle is the spotlight of the dawn of human suffering, child abuse and molestation within the prose. The abused child splashes around the bathtub while Taylor fights to contain her repulse. "The Indian child was a girl. A girl, poor thing. That fact had already burdened her short life with a kind of misery I could not imagine. I thought I knew every ugly thing that one person does to another, but I had never even thought about such things (Kingsolver 31)." Taylor is disgusted by the marks of immorality this child must bear, however she is intrigued and inspired by the child's stubborn strength. Taylor moves on hereafter acting as Turtle's sworn protector and Turtle moves on as Taylor's kin.

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After traveling from one side of the country to the other, B. Kingsolver began to believe that writing bridges gaps. These gaps can be found anywhere from Texas to Tennessee, men to women, Mexican to American to any other ethnicity or culture. For example, her realistic writing includes the inhuman suffering of a quaint couple of refugees fleeing Guatemala during the time of the United Fruit Company's influence, including America's authority, leading to the destructive downfall of the Guatemalan government. As this couple struggles to keep their identity a secret and their presence unknown, Taylor tries to keep her feelings of affection and attraction for Estevan, the perceptive male partner, under control. Estevan maintains his integrity in intimate situations, such as the night Esperanza tries to kill herself, while he defends the nature of her attempted suicide as the result of the treacherous tribulations of torture they had undergone at the hands of Guatemalan officials. "I thought I'd had a pretty hard life. But I keep finding out that life can be hard in ways that I never knew about (Kingsolver 181)," Taylor admits upon apprehending the cruelty of the world. Estevan, a man of great integrity, whispers words of wisdom in return. "I can see how it would be easier not to know (Kingsolver 181)." In turn, Taylor is presented with



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