Barbara Kingsolver uses her talent of creating believable real-life situations to engage the reader and draw their noses closer and closer to the spine of the book with every word. She is, furthermore, able to transform a dull history lesson of the colonization of the Congo to a thrilling, on-the-edge of-your-seat book. By allowing the development of several points of view from the wife and daughters of Nathan Price, the reader is able to capture the true picture of every situation that appears within the text. One situation that becomes evident right from the beginning of the book is in reality one of the themes for the entire novel. Kingsolver creates parallel situations between the Price family arriving to conquer and convert the Kilanga people and the Congo having been taken over by the Belgian.
Starting off as early as page 22, the Price family realizes that they have no control over the Kilanganese. The Kilanga people are set in stone with their customs and the Price family has no saying once so ever in what they can and will do. Rachel is the first to realize this by stating “We are supposed to be calling the shots here, but it doesn’t look to me like we’re in charge of anything, not even our own selves.” This on a larger scale resembles the want for independence by Congolese. Throughout the book, Nathan Price goes on in a harsh way of trying to convince the Kilanga people that the single Baptist God is greater than their several unique gods. His technique of rashly stripping the village people of their beliefs instead of easing them into the idea of a different god turns out to be a disadvantage at his sake. This reflects the abusive way that the Belgium bombarded the Congo and tried to civilize them, because they weren’t up to the respective human standards.
By relating this minor and major situation of colonization, Kingsolver criticizes the manners in which human nature allows for the taking of more dramatic measures if when an action does not go on as planned the first time. She expands on the ridiculousness of a simple mission trip to Africa, gone wrong, into a strong political statement. She makes strong points about how the way things ended in the situation were wrong. I believe the author would come to agreement with the idea that if everyone would have kept to themselves from the beginning, less would have been lost, yet less would have been gained.
Towards the end of the book both the Congo and the Price girls gain their independence, sadly both with a cost. While the Congo only lost rights to their diamond mines and oil wells, the Price family lost the youngest sister. In the end, both the Congo and the women of the Price family were released from their treacherous binds to the one power that had attempted to rule all and themselves as well. Although the Congo gained their independence, there are still many governmental and social issues they were still left to comply with. This compares to how the Price girls will forever be scared with something from the Congo, something they will never be able to forget and will carry with themselves until their last day. Alike the how the Congo will never be its primitive self after the invasion of the Belgian. However, as it is said “With great sacrifice comes great reward.”