Foreshadowing In Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible

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he Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver focuses on both real life and fictional events and tells the story of the Price family’s experience in the Congo. Kingsolver makes good use of foreshadowing to dramatize the tragic incidents that occur in Africa. Orleanna Price is the most reliable narrator in the novel and is used to foreshadow future events and to explain various aspects of the past. In the first chapter, Orleanna maps out all the major events that will occur throughout the book. Most notably, the “glide of snake belly” is an allusion to a notorious green mamba biting and killing Ruth May (5). Her death provides Orleanna with the strength to leave the Congo and is of enough importance to be addressed in the first paragraph. Orleanna then references the destruction of Kilanga in Judges by a “single-file army of ants” (5). This was the climax of the novel and a major turning point for most characters.
Assigning Ruth May as Orleanna’s favorite allows …show more content…

She provides the imagery of Nathan before the war, laughing and calling her his “honey lamb” (196). This seems foreign when compared to the arrogant and bitter Nathan that has been depicted thus far. Nathan endured serious trauma and returned home with a “suspicion of his own cowardice from which he could never recover.” (197) Nathan’s constant guilt causes him to overcompensate with trying to please God with his aggressive evangelism. After the war, Nathan meant to absolve his shame by saving “more souls than had perished on the road from Bataan” (198). This explains Nathan’s determination to bring salvation to the village of Kilanga and his rage when they refuse to accept it. Kingsolver creates a much more complex character through Orleanna as she recalls Nathan Price before, during, and after the war. Knowing Nathan Price’s backstory allows for a better understanding of his character and Orleanna is the best-suited character to give

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