Feminism In The Bean Trees

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According to Roseanne Barr, “The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it” (86). In society, we have been taught that men are in charge of all the power and women are only given limited power. Women can be powerful if they are willing to take it instead of waiting for it to be granted to them. Feminism and the power of women is not only a controversial topic in society, but it is also a popular motif in one of Barbara Kingsolver’s novels. In The Bean Trees, a major theme of her novel is that women are free to break the standards set by men and be independent from men. Early in the novel, Taylor’s car has some flat tires coming into town. She stops by a used tire shop and meets the owner, Mattie to get them…show more content…
They argue that a major theme is that “[a]lthough it is a job that can never be done perfectly, motherhood is depicted as an empowering role” (Parini 200). Throughout the novel, we see Taylor and Lou Ann adjusting and learning how to parent a child by themselves. It is a struggle for them; however, they learn quickly and conquer their motherhood. While it is valid that some readers might think motherhood is a hard and empowering role, still my theme of men-less women being powerful remains central because the power of women has a lot to do with raising their children. For example, Taylor is talking to her mama via payphone and tells her some exciting news. She tells her mom that “Turtle’s [her] real daughter. [She] adopted her” (300). Taylor is showing that she can be a mother to a child without a man in the picture. She has the power to be able and adopt a child all on her own. As the preceding examples of the power of women from The Bean Trees demonstrate, women can be independent and remove men from their lives. One way this insight is useful to me today is getting tasks done at work without the strength of a man. Working at a restaurant, there are some heavy items that we have to carry in and out of the kitchen. I would sometimes have to ask for a man’s strength to get some tasks done. If I would work out and build my own
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