Ignorance In Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible

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Ultimately, the human heart seeks comfort and familiarity. The great unknown strips away this feeling of safety, leading to a vulnerability that draws the true nature of a person into the harshness of reality. Unfamiliar environments, newly met strangers, the imminent and all-too-unpredictable future--these things generally incite feelings of insecurity and anxiety; for some, panic accompanies the thought of not having control. Some avoid matters of fear altogether, opting for a life softened with intentional ignorance. It is the fatal tendency of mankind to manipulate their troubles into trivial tasks that can easily be ignored and eventually forgotten, or at the very least, left to the side. Humanity thrives on acknowledging, promoting, and …show more content…

Kingsolver addresses this need with her novel, creating a “thing of terrible beauty”. The Poisonwood Bible is centered around these controversial themes, luring the reader into considering the difficult topics and the various aspects of each topic that are presented. The “terrible beauty” of Kingsolver’s work is her ability to craft such an effective novel which simultaneously intrigues and creates discomfort in the audience. She does not shy away from this discomfort and attempts to diminish ignorance; throughout her novel, Kingsolver forces readers to withdraw from the comforts of their own lives and to look to places of dirt and destruction. Readers are repelled by the abrupt harshness of many chapters, from Rachel’s racist ignorance to Ruth May’s taught entitlement. At the same time, Ruth May instills hope as she plays silly children’s games with local children, and Leah’s passion for everything and everyone she loves deepens. Kingsolver writes with confidence, her “steady hands” crafting a story that ruthlessly covers painful topics in pursuit of establishing what she feels is the truth. Her novel is a thing of terrible beauty, a thing of appalling truths, a thing of loss and love and an endless amount of unknowns. Most importantly, however, it is a thing of total

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