Gender Biases In Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees

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Racial and gender biases have been constant issues throughout history. From the persecution of women in the early America to modern day victimization of people based solely upon race, gender and racial biases have shaped and continue shaping history in a major way. While modern America is known for being an all-welcoming country of free speech and mutual respects throughout races, hidden racial and gender biases are often overlooked, leading to the manifestation of these biases in people and their community. In The Bean Trees, a novel set in 1980s America, Barbara Kingsolver illustrates the presence of racial and gender biases and their effect on the community. Through the characters victimized by these biases, Kingsolver illustrates that…show more content…
For a short period of time, Taylor works at the “Burger Derby,” and struggles to accept her required uniform, one of “red caps, red-and-white-striped shirts, and what looked like red plastic shorts” (67). Taylor feels that the uniforms accentuate a woman’s body in such a way that is financially beneficial to the restaurant. Frustrated, Taylor stands up for what she believes in, resulting in an argument between her and her manager, as well as her termination. Furthermore, Sandi falls victim to the stereotype that a pregnancy is somewhat exclusively the woman’s fault and responsibility. After learning of Sandi’s pregnancy, “the father of her baby [tells] everyone that Sandi [is] an admitted schizophrenic and picked his name out of the high school yearbook when she found out she was pregnant” (89). In addition, to avoid responsibility, “soon after [hearing of the pregnancy] the boy’s father got transferred from Tucson and the whole family moved to Oakland, California” (89). Sandi recognizes her position as a poor single mother and challenges it. By working, Sandi provides for herself and her child, subsequently defying the stereotype that are the sole men providers in a woman’s
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