The Bean Trees Study Guide

The Bean Trees Study Guide

Original title:
The Bean Trees

Barbara Kingsolver is an American writer and poet. Her first novel “The Bean Trees” was published in 1988. The book denotes multiple symbolic meanings about shared motherhood, life and death, and beauty.

The narrator Taylor Greer, who is also the main character of the novel grew up among the tobacco fields of Kentucky and suddenly realized that she had no choice, no future. It is not only a matter of local society, but it’s also a matter of their native land. As she says, the favorite decoration of the inhabitants here is the dirt, and the favorite activity - the birth of children.

Life is hard in the edges, where the soil is corroded by tobacco, and almost no one has the desire or the ability to change something, and the horizon from all sides is obscured by the mountains. The heroine feels that the horizons of her fate are also limited and only one way is open to her, like to all local women: early pregnancy, unsuccessful marriage, a husband who is likely to die in early ages. And she decides to run away: she takes an old Volkswagen and somehow gets to Tuscon. In the west, she meets completely different, new people, discovers an unusual, but the tempting landscape unexpectedly adopts a three-year-old Indian girl by the nickname Turtle and goes to work as a volunteer in a shelter for refugees from Central America. In other words, she comes out of the cramped space and joyfully welcomes the opportunity to grow and develop.

“The Bean Trees” is a unique story that gives your breath, pulls you out of your usual safe environment and shows the cruel reality of the world. This is the place where there are single mothers, where children are abused, where people are tortured with electric wires, and those around them indifferently close their eyes to it. But on the other hand, this amusing and inspiring book is a wonderful assertion of risk-taking, courage, obligation, and everyday miracles. The intrigue in this book increases with each page turned up.

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