Character Analysis Of The Poisonwood Bible

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Sometimes, personality can be perpetual. Even faced with the most adverse surroundings, a teenager’s character can remain virtually unaffected. Rachel Price, the eldest Price sister, experiences almost no change over the course of The Poisonwood Bible, written by Barbara Kingsolver. Characterized as an ignorant, superficial, “ditzy blonde”, Rachel makes no attempts to assimilate or adapt to the customs of Kilanga, frequently enjoying luxury and leisure at the expense of the villagers’ hard work. Rachel’s persona is perfectly captured in the nsongonya ants attack, where she simply decides to “stick out [her] elbows and raise up [her] feet,” and be carried in the stream of fleeing villagers, despite jabbing her elbows “very hard into the ribs” of the villagers carrying her (305).…show more content…
She takes no part in, and mostly ignores the movement for an independent and just Congo, despite living there. Rachel’s adult life consists of benefiting from other people’s pain and hard work. She says so herself, at the novel’s conclusion: “That’s my advice; Let others do the pushing and shoving, and you just ride along. In the end, the neck you save will be your own.” (516.) While some readers consider Rachel Price’s static character nothing more than a pointless trope, it is clear that Kingsolver has carefully crafted Rachel’s accounts of her experiences in the village of Kilanga to subtly illuminate the deeply engrained racism present in the minds of the white missionaries living in Congo at the time, a result of hundreds of years of European colonization and degradation of Sub-Saharan
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