Western Imperialism : Western Arrogance Essay

1014 Words Aug 14th, 2016 5 Pages
In the Poisonwood Bible, western arrogance is emphasized throughout both the Price family and the Western countries through the actions they show toward the Congo.
At the start of the novel, all of the Prices hide their belongings in their clothes in order to have the necessities in the new country. These belongings have no real place in the Congo, where Betty Crocker cake mixes, a hand mirror, scissors, a thimble, pencils, and first aid supplies represent former world and stand out. These are “civilization’s evils” that the family felt would be needed the greatest. “The six pairs of underwear and cake mixes all commenced to be a considerable cross to bear” in a place where those belongings are not needed(Kingsolver 14-15). This shows ignorance on their part believing it possible to live in a bubble of the western world untouched by the African culture choosing instead to let Western Arrogance shine through.
When the Price family meets the Underdowns, Nathan is annoyed by them offering their help since he feels like the Congo will bend to his wishes and is too arrogant to realize he might need help. In the Western world, Nathan felt like he had control over the land and people, but in the Congo this is untrue, even if he is too arrogant to see this. Rachel sees this and says, "Father would sooner watch us all perish one by one than listen to anybody but himself” (Kingsolver 169). As the Prices are flying to the village to start their new life, Nathan asks God to create a…

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