Methuselah's Baseball Analysis

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In the book there is a very interesting symbol that is not touched on or talked about, the parrot Methuselah. The parrot was left behind by Brother Fowles, a former missionary, and minister in Kilanga. The parrot was taken care of by the Price family. Nathan Price resents the bird because Methuselah curses, and one day gets frustrated one day and releases him. Until that, Methuselah was kept in a cage and fed by his masters. Methuselah had forgotten how to fend for himself. The parrot continues to stay close to the house because of his usual dependency of the Price family. Only a few days after Methuselah is released, Adah found Methuselah dead. He was killed by a civet cat, ironically the same day the Republic of Congo gained their independence. …show more content…
For most of Methuselah’s life, he is denied freedom, just like Congo. Methuselah had been in that cage for many years, restricted from living his own life. Similarly, the Congo has been under the control and rules of the Belgians for decades. When he finally gets free, he doesn’t know how to be independent because of how long he has been in the cage. Methuselah has always been feed and taken care of by his masters through the years. Just as the Congo doesn’t know how to be economically self-sufficient without the Belgian control. Methuselah became attached to the life of being taken care of and forgets how to be independent. The Republic of Congo, similarly, does the same thing because they don’t remember a time when they were independent. The Congolese people only remember the old rules and when they were ruled by another country. Furthermore, Methuselah stayed close to the house and even hid in the outhouse during the night. The Congolese people stick to their old habits and revert back to being ruled by a single person. Methuselah lasted less than a week while the Congo independence with Patrice Lumumba lasted 81 days. Both of them wished to be independent but they didn’t have the necessary skills or resources to thrive independently.
Ultimately, the vulnerable Methuselah and the Republic of Congo both met their demise by a predator. Methuselah’s predator being the cat and the Congo’s predator being the United States. Nathan liberated the parrot, just as Belgium set the Congolese people free. The Congolese wanted to be a brand new country, however, stuck to their old habits. Kingsolver put Methuselah in her book to foreshadow and symbolize the early demise of the Republic of

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