Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees

Improved Essays
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver is about a girl named Taylor Greer who packs up everything she has from her small town in Kentucky and moves across the country to where her very old car finally gives out. Taylor has nothing more than a couple hundred dollars, a junk car, a lot of ambition, and her morals. The book portrays her as a strong person who isn’t to be messed with. She doesn’t let the fact that she is a woman affect anything she does, because deep down it’s obvious that it doesn’t matter to her. Taylor is strong, not because she is a woman, but because she knows gender doesn’t determine strength. She portrays this in multiple instances, such as when she decided to just get up and leave her hometown, she isn’t interested in the …show more content…
She did not want to live in her hometown anymore because she wasn’t interested in the lifestyle everyone else had. “-and none of these sights so far inspired me to get hogtied to a future as a tobacco farmer’s wife. Mama always said barefoot and pregnant was not my style.” (Kingsolver 3). Many girls in Taylor’s town became teen moms and got married at an early age. Taylor wanted better for herself, so she got a job and stayed out of trouble, she didn’t feel the need to become a mother or married. The 1980’s were considered to be late second wave feminism and pre-third wave. According to an article on Pacific University’s …show more content…
“‘Take this baby,’” (Kingsolver 17), this is what a woman whom Taylor had never met, said to her, while trying to hand her a child. When Taylor would not take the toddler, the mysterious woman just placed her in the backseat of Taylor’s vehicle, essentially forcing her to take the unknown child. As time went on, Taylor raised Turtle as her own. Taylor was the one to get Turtle to finally talk, previously she was completely mute and seemed totally emotionless to those who did not know her well. It was very apparent that April (Turtle) felt comfortable with Taylor and genuinely viewed her as a mother figure, or at least as an older sister. But one day while Taylor was off at work, she left Turtle alone with a neighbor, Edna Poppy. Edna is blind, so she didn’t see when someone came up to Turtle and began to abuse her. Naturally, they called the police and they arrived with a social worker. April and Taylor met with the social worker multiple times before she dropped the bombshell that April will be taken away since she is considered a ward of the state. Taylor was infuriated. She had spent so much time building a connection to this toddler, and now she hears that she’s going to be ripped away from her. Taylor knew that she could take care of her though. She had a stable job, house, and state of mind. She was strong and was aware of it. She didn’t need a man there to support her and

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