Character Analysis: The Poisonwood Bible

765 Words4 Pages
Henry Fisher
Mrs. Hillesland
AP English 11
11 December 2015
Strength in Numbers
Skilled writers take different approaches in their narration to accurately convey their message. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver, is a novel about the Prices, a religious family who moves from Georgia a village in the Congo. Their story, which parallels the western appearance into our current era, is told through multiple narrators: Orleanna—Nathan Price 's wife, and their four daughters--Rachel, Leah, Adah, Ruth May. Kingsolver wrote her novel through the eyes of the five Price women to constitute a parallel between the unrest in the Congo, and the Price family who is abused by Nathan. Therefore, he represents the western exploitation of Africa and
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Adah is a cynical person who never fully experiences life. Adah speaks little to nothing in the beginning of the novel because “When you do not speak, other people presume you to be deaf or feeble-minded and promptly make a show of their own limitations.” (Page 34) As Adah grows older, however, she loses her negative viewpoints she had when she was younger. After overcoming her health issues, she was born a new person. Her voice in the novel is used to desensitize us--then surprise us. Leaving us thinking about our easy lives, which we have made a place we rid of issues. And we fail to recognize the issues occurring in other parts of the…show more content…
She is constantly consumed with egotistical issues. Rachel could care less about anything related to the Congo and makes no effort to learn of its land, culture, or people. Being the most egocentric person in the novel, she perceives Ruth May’s death as the reason she will is never able to forget the Congo; and she did not feel bad. She continues her life--eventually obtaining a successful resort; all the while refusing to acknowledge the suffering that surrounds her. Her viewpoint on life is extremely relatable to that of a common American; we know there is suffering occurring in other parts of the world and we fail to acknowledge it-- and often times purposely neglect it so we may enjoy our peaceful lives. This is the exact circumstance which affected the Congo for decades and still continues today.
Kingsolver’s use of four narrators in this novel emblematizes the many feelings and viewpoints we possess. Amongst all the characters, we can relate to at least one character and at the same time still understand how other characters are thinking. As a result, The Poisonwood Bible would not be as eloquent and would not present the same message with only one narrator. It engages readers through the entire novel by reading events through the eyes and minds of four separate
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