The Bean Trees Character Analysis

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The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver is a Bildungsroman that highlights Taylor’s adventures. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of a Bildungsroman is “a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character”. A Bildungsroman consists of four main parts, a search for identity/loss/painful experience, education/travel/baptism/gaining a mentor, trials/passing tests/descent into hell, and new insight/new awareness/attainment of maturity. This connects to The Bean Trees because it chronicles the growth of Taylor. The Bean Trees is a Bildungsroman that highlights the story of Taylor discovering that people need each other to thrive and survive through symbiotic relationships. Taylor, the protagonist, wants to leave…show more content…
Unlike the other girls at her high school, Taylor doesn’t plan to get pregnant and drop out. She gets a job at the local hospital and saves up to buy a car “In this car I intended to drive out of Pittman County one day and never look back, except maybe for Mama”(Kingsolver 14). Taylor plans to use her newly bought car to escape from her dreary, old town. She is traveling away from her hometown in order to find her true self. Through the process of Taylor’s journey, Taylor realizes that she needs the help and support of other people and that she needs others to help her thrive as a person. One of the most significant people in Taylor’s journey was Turtle. Turtle is the missing puzzle piece in her life, Taylor doesn’t know it yet, but she will not be able to fully understand herself until Turtle comes along. Turtle and…show more content…
After finding her motherly instincts, Taylor must fight to have Turtle as her own child. She asks Esperanza and Esteban to pose as Turtle’s parents so that she can adopt Turtle. They arrive at the adoption agency and when Taylor begins doubting her plan, she discovers how much Turtle means to her “I was over my initial nervousness, but without it I felt drained. Just sitting in that small, crowded office, trying to look the right way and say the right thing, seemed to take a great deal of energy. I couldn't imagine how we were all going to get through this.”(Kingsolver 287). Here, Taylor’s anxiety about losing Turtle is described. It is depicted to readers that Turtle has become something of great value to Taylor. Taylor realizes that she is more successful with Turtle by her side. Turtle and Taylor have a unique connection, they both know how it feels to not belong. Turtle never had a family and no one ever thought much about her. Taylor, on the other hand, did have a family, but she never belonged in her community “Mama always said barefoot and pregnant was not my style. She knew….the girls were dropping by the wayside like seeds off a poppyseed bun”(4). At Taylor’s school, it was common for girls to drop out because of pregnancy. Taylor, however, didn’t want to compromise her education and future by dropping out. Therefore, she felt like an outsider because of her choice. This quote features Mama pointing out

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