The Bean Trees Essay Sample
- Pages: 3
- Word count: 569
- Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
- Category: community
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Introduction of TOPIC
Throughout the novel, Kingsolver focuses on family as a major theme. Taylor ends up with Turtle, and together they form a family. When they move in with Lou Ann and her son, their family grows. Neither Taylor nor Lou Ann can afford much; by sharing expenses, they help each other survive difficult times. Lou Ann considers Taylor and Turtle family because they’d “been through hell and high water together” and because they know “each other’s good and bad sides, stuff nobody else knows.” Taylor and Lou Ann develop an enduring friendship and love for one another. Out of this sense of belonging and acceptance comes the notion of family, of unasked-for and freely given emotional and psychological support.
Other nontraditional families include Edna and Virgie Mae, as well as Mattie and her house full of political refugees. Because Edna is blind, she is dependent on Virgie Mae. They support and care for one another. Mattie, when asked if she has “grandbabies,” responds, “Something like that.” She loves the people who are in sanctuary in her house. They are fellow human beings, and she risks her life for them time and time again. What she does to care for and support these refugees is no different from what most
biological family members do for each other. Kingsolver’s
Estevan and Esperanza also become Taylor’s friends and members of her community. They are people she depends on who also depend on her. Taylor takes a risk by driving them to Oklahoma to a safe house; in return, they risk their lives to save Turtle from becoming a ward of the state.
The willingness of people in a community to allow others to depend on them creates trust and a sense of belonging for both the providers and the receivers of that dependence. Community members look out for each other and support each other. In so doing, they allow all members to grow emotionally and to lead more productive lives without the worry of everyday personal security, including the need for food. Kingsolver portrays this interdependency between the community members symbolically in the symbiotic relationship between the wisteria vines and the rhizobia.
Exposing her readers to the value of community and family, Kingsolver’s hope is to spur them to action, thereby making the world a kinder — and more secure — place in which to live.