Essay on Barbara Kingsolver 's The Poisonwood Bible

1005 Words Apr 8th, 2016 5 Pages
Amy Nguyen ENGL 1002 Paper #1 As humans, we grow up in a community of family and friends. They provide the learned values and direction that allows us to become functioning members of society who are able to help others and ourselves. It is the basis of society. Community presents itself as an interwoven network of various part and sub-parts, and every small action can create a ripple effect that may go unnoticed by those immediately surrounding it, but more clearly seen as the waves spread. In Barbara Kingsolver’s novel, The Poisonwood Bible, a Baptist family is sent as missionaries to Africa. Readers are initially bombarded with the jarring difference between American life in the 1950’s to the lives of African villagers, but Kingsolver slowly reveals the overarching similarities of both communities and the humanity that lies beneath. Through this novel, we are able to see that community is a concept that is able to span even cultures that seem vastly different in every way, shape, and form. This concept of a global community and global citizenship will be explored as we examine our own role. In the quote, Kingsolver mentions the contrasting “isolated heroism of the cowboy” against the “heroism in ordinariness and connectedness”. Today, it seems that individualism of self and culture is heralded, that pride in one’s ethnicity and independence is a characteristic that is highly valued by society. Although all of these encouragements of differentiation are healthy and normal…

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