Misogyny In The Poisonwood Bible

1562 Words 7 Pages
The novel The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is a wonderful story that depicts the lives of missionaries in the Congo. The Price’s, who are staying in a small village, illustrates the hardships and joys the African desert can bring. Each daughter teaches a lesson while their mother, Orleanna acts as a comprehensive voice. One of the main aspects of this book is women. The storyline battles with misogyny and the patriarchy that defines their societal norms. The women have a strong connection to the land both literally, and figuratively. The women of Kalinga’s defeats are often overshadowed by the wonders of womanhood. Together the Price’s and the Congolese women navigate the sexist era that is the sixties. Throughout history women …show more content…
They find liveliness in their interactions with one another and are more than willing to act as an attendant to the Price’s. The atmosphere was sprightly and the women basked in the honesty and humour that often accompanies womanhood. Leah said, “With no men around, everyone was surprisingly lighthearted. It was contagious somehow. We laughed at the unladylike ways we sunk into the mud. Every so often the women also sang together in little shouted bursts of call and response” (Kingsolver, 390). Although the women were typically tending to their household, they made time to help the women around them. Mama Tataba was extremely considerate and charitable. She tried to teach Nathan on how to properly raise plants, and she gave them extra food during the famine. This connection was reciprocated when Ruth May died. Her death shook Orleanna, but her first response was to give all of her pointless commodities to the women who need them. Orleanna said, “What relief, to place it in the hands of women who could carry off my burden.” (Kingsolver P.382). At the beginning of the mission, Orleanna was rather cold hearted, but the people the Congo grew on her. So much so, she was in love with Africa; forever missing it. The affinities that the Congo spirit, and womanhood created are undeniable. The love and thoughtfulness of the Congolese woman was able to convert five females, who weren’t quite sure about the Congo, into people who all left a …show more content…
The Price woman however, were most prominently influenced by Nathan. His actions were frankly destructible and catalysts for change among Rachel, Leah, Adah, Ruth May, and Orleanna. Rachel who stepped of the plane practically begging to turn around ended up staying in Africa. Rachel was thinking in similarly with Liz Richardson who volunteered for the peace corp. Richardson said, “I wonder sometimes what I was thinking, coming here” (Liz Richardson) She was not close to her father, in fact she did not appear to be close to anyone. She was a loner who masked her sadness with a sense of humor. Her isolation and desire to be anywhere but affiliated with the Congo led to her marrying Eeben Axelroot and fleeing.She became dependent on men yet independent enough to get rid of them. Her only success was because her husband had died, but she felt little guilt and believed she hit it rich at the Equatorial. Maybe she did. Leah who was the most connected to Nathan went through a titanic transformation. She was originally the most religious. If Nathan walked right, she walked right. He jumped, she jumped. She clearly wanted to be seen by her father. However, his pulverizing actions slowly lost Leah. She began to think on her own and was influenced by Nelson and Anatole. By the end of the novel, Leah does not believe in God; she

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