Poisonwood Bible Character Analysis

715 Words3 Pages
Poisonwood Bible POV Essay Trying to adjust to a move from one continent to another is hard for anyone and especially for an American teenager. Rachel Price is the typical materialistic teenager of the 1960s. Her ethnocentrism and the culture of the Congo collide head on right away upon her arrival in the Congo. At first she has an ethnocentric mindset which causes her to become a very unhappy girl and throughout her long stay in Africa she comes to accept that America is no longer her home and changes her identity from a merely “tolerant” American to a countryless woman who understands cultural differences and is also tolerant. But, despite her new understanding of cultural differences Rachel remains an isolated person. Rachel shows how the Congo changes people's…show more content…
Despite her belief that white, Western culture was the best after her time in the Congo Rachel did not believe she could return to America, but saw South Africa as the perfect place for her (it was very racist). She has no true consistency in her life until she settles down in her all white hotel after a string of husbands. This whites only hotel is an example of how Rachel still believed in colonial power over Africa. Rachel’s attitude of “I am okay with blacks, but don’t want them near” (Kingsolver, 1998) is a perfect example of how racial issues were handled in America, separate but “equal.” Rachel seems to represent those people who were merely “tolerant” of blacks during those times. She was not actively beating down black people, but through her snobby, “tolerant” ethnocentric attitude, she showed she was just a stick in the mud. One could say Rachel changed only 20%. 80% of her still loves western culture, but the other 20% acknowledges that her time in Africa changed her and she could no longer fit into American culture, as she and America had both

    More about Poisonwood Bible Character Analysis

      Open Document