The sparrow darted off the screen, made a loop back towards the hallway, then flew through the open screen door into the terrible night. ” 17 Turtle’s fear is again portrayed through a bird, as soon as they get back home; a bird flies into the chimney and is very frightened. It is clinging to everything it can just like Turtle is clinging to Edna’s sleeve. It has a hard time being helped out of the house, since it thinks that Taylor and Virgie are going to hurt it, however once they set it free Turtle begins to feel much more secure, Taylor has managed to save her again just like she saved the bird.
Turtle continues to grow which is seen through her planting everything she gets a hold of, she even buries her doll, a symbol of her finally letting go of her original mother and excepting Taylor as her new mother. “… Turtle, who was hard at work burying Shirley Poppy in the soft dirt at the base of a pine tree.
I had to laugh. I went over and squatted beside her at the foot of the tree. I’ve got to explain something to you, sweet pea. Some things grow into bushes or trees when you plant them, but other things don’t. Beans do, doll babies don’t.
Yes, Turtle said, patting the mound of dirt. Mama. “18 Here again we are shown the motif of life and death as she has witnessed her original mother’s death, a new mother has come out if just like plants grow.
At the end of the novel, Turtle has flourished into an individual who begins to trust the people around her, although she has always been a strong individual she would have never been able to get where she is without Taylor as well as Taylor would have never been able to become the woman she is without Turtle and the women around her.
“She (Turtle) watched the dark highway and entertained me with her vegetable-soup song, except that now there were people mixed in with the beans and potatoes: Dwayne Ray, Mattie, Esperanza, Lou Ann and all the rest. And me. I was the main ingredient. “19 After everything that Taylor and Turtle have been through, Taylor has been able to mature and care for Turtle and although she wanted to escape a young pregnancy, she ends up adopting Turtle, even though it took her a while to realize that she needed her in her life. “Why should I, Lou Ann? Why should I think Turtle is better off with me than in a state home?
At least there they know how to take care of kids. They won’t let anything happen to her. “20 Taylor does not realize how much Turtle has grown to trust her at this point, Turtle does believe that Taylor is the perfect mother for her and later on she realizes this. “I’ve made up my mind about something. I’m going to drive Esperanza and Estevan to a safe house in Oklahoma. And while I’m there I’m going to see if I can find any of Turtle’s relatives. “21 This demonstrates that Taylor has finally noticed that she must at least try and fight for Turtle or she will not be able to forgive herself.
We are foreshown that this will do well, at the end of the chapter when the night-blooming cereus blooms later on that night. “Enormous blossoms covered the plant from knee level to high above our heads. “22 These flowers only bloom for one night, and it is no coincidence why they chose that particular night every character has been able to develop and become independent and although tough times are coming ahead this flower symbolizes that life will thrive on even through these though times. In some sort of way Taylor is a God, who has left home and gone to the unknown to do some good for everyone else around her.
In the process she has managed to learn about political corruption and has managed to make friends and nurture a young life. She has even been able to change her new family member’s opinion of herself and helped Lou Ann get on her feet. Lou Ann starts off very dependant of her husband Angle, who very quickly into the novel decides to leave her when she is seven months pregnant. This takes her very much by surprise as she gave up everything for him. “When he came home Lou Ann gave up her part time job at the Three Bears Day School to be with him…
“23 Evidently Lou Ann is very much in love with Angle, and once he leaves with all of her things it hardly seems to affect her. “In a strange way she was fascinated to see what he had claimed for his own. “24 She realizes that maybe the man she fell in love with was lost with his leg in the accident, as she learned more about his personality with what he had taken then all the years they spent together. She has very low self esteem which affects her development as she does not even express her own thoughts. “…
and she always meant to ask (if only she had the nerve) if the people there came from her part of the country. “25 It is as if once Angle left, he took her voice and independence with him as well as her confidence in herself. She will never say her opinion even if something such as the door of Fanny Heaven makes her sick to her gut; she will stay quiet about it. “… the door handle, when a person pushed it, would sink right into her crotch. “26 This gives us a good image of how many women are looked upon in our society, walked over and walked through without sensitivity.
It is very hard for Lou Ann to walk past Fanny Heaven since she is one of those women and it makes it that much harder for her to become independent. However as the novel continues to unravel, with the help of Taylor who Lou Ann is very much inspired by, Lou Ann is able to come out with her own opinions, she even finally gets a job even though Taylor mocks her modesty. “Really ma’am, I could understand why you wouldn’t want to hire a dumb old thing such as myself. “27 Even though she develops we can still see that she doubts herself since as soon as Angle comes back into the equation she loses her stability.
“He actually says here that he misses me. She mulled over and over, twisting her gold wedding band around her finger. She had stopped wearing it about the time she started working at the salsa factory, but now put it on again almost guiltily. “28 This quote is very significant to Lou Ann’s development since we are shown that when she started to work she felt good about herself and no longer felt like she had to hold on to any part of Angel, however Lou Ann is very unstable and paranoid and as soon as she has the chance to have the opportunity to be back with Angle she practically jumps for it.
She is lucky however as she has now found a new family member Taylor to keep her in line. So many of our experiences are shaped by what we make of them. Barbera Kingsolver was able to show her awareness of this as she continued to show that life goes on even through hard times and when death is surrounding you. Using the motif of life and death throughout the novel was of great significance since it gave a much deeper insight into the characters and their strengths. Without all the women in this novel supporting each other, there is no way they would have been able to develop into their unique selves.
I completely agree with Jack Butler, that the characters experiences are somewhat not believable and are pushed to the extremes to achieve a happy ending. However this is what makes the novel, without the happy ending all women would seem to have no hope. Therefore I do not completely agree with Karen Fitzgerald, as the characters are able to do things one would never be able to do in society, hence are not very believable. Although I agree with her in the way that politics do not take over the novel due to the fact that Kingsolver has a gift in writing “like poetry but making it read like realism.
“29 As demonstrated in this essay, there is much corruption in this novel, however Kingsolver was able to look past the corruption and create humor out of it at some points, which I believe is why this novel was such a great success.
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