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.
A Poisonwood Bible When describing Patrice Lumumba, Barbara Kingsolver uses complementary wording that makes the reader like him, or at least respect him. The Belgian doctor puts a cast on Ruth May’s arm on page 149 and calls Lumumba “the new soul of Africa”, which introduces Lumumba to the reader as a positive idea. When Leah sees Lumumba on pages 221-222, he’s described as “a thin, distinguished man” and that “when he stood to speak, everyone’s mouth shut... Even the birds seemed taken aback”. This portrayal makes him appear smart and scholarly and the reader is partial to him.
The title, The Poisonwood Bible, is an excellent title for the plot of this book. “Tata Jesus is bangala” (331), which has two different meaning because bangala means precious and also the poisonwood tree. Reverend Price says this phrase at the end of every sermon, but he mispronounces the word bangala so that it means poisonwood tree. So the locals think he is saying “Jesus is the poisonwood tree” instead of “Jesus is precious.” This makes the title very important because it makes the Congolese not want to know God because they think He is poisonwood.
In Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible the Price family follows their missionary father, Nathan Price, to the Congo. Throughout the novel the children start out excited for the trip, but as time goes on they are longing to go home. Leah Price, the middle daughter, starts off ready for the journey and the new things she will learn and find and even though she is a girl from Bethlehem, Georgia she doesn’t hesitate to do anything to fit in. The surroundings, culture and people in the Congo begin to change her and she learns how to do new things and is enlightened in what she believes.
In Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, religion is key. The family dynamic - at least superficially - revolves around the father's mission to bring the teachings of Baptism and the Bible to Kilanga, a village in the Congo. It becomes clear that this mission is really only the father's: the Price women in the novel, although originally somewhat excited about this experience, are not nearly as passionate as Nathan, the actual preacher of the religion, the active missionary. While the women are not as devoted to the mission's goals as Nathan, only Adah articulates why; only Adah discusses why she does not believe in God, and why she disagrees with the Western world's intent on converting African people to a religion which acts, in Leah's words,
Like Water for Chocolate The magical, mystical, and romantic tale, Like Water for Chocolate is a novel where the characters face countless problems of love, family, and historic events. Through 12 months of the year we follow Tita’s struggle to pursue her true love, happiness, and sense of purpose. With each chapter, beginning with a recipe that is incorporated throughout the narrative. Where Tita, is wholly dependent on these recipes to get her through situations.
The clash of the West and Africa, creates unique situations that everyone must face. The Poisonwood Bible, written by Barbara Kingsolver, shows how foreigners who enter another land are affected by the countries culture and faith, and in return how a society is affected. In the novel, children are led by the missionary father, Nathan into the Congo, where they face the task of religious conversion. Also, the Price children were influenced by the African culture and faith, in which changed how they view life and their attitudes toward the Congo. Each child’s perception of life distinct and molds them into the person they will become.
Rachel Burrell Hanson English II May 20, 2016 The Poisonwood Bible Faith can be lost throughout time. In The Poisonwood Bible, this proves to be true especially in the case with Adah, Leah and their father, Nathan Price. Adah and Leah, two reliable narrators, both end the novel believing their father to be unprincipled, thus dramatically shaping the tone of the novel regarding Nathan Price. Adah starts the novel skeptical of her father and she observes his arrogance towards others, while Leah admires Nathan Price.
The Poisonwood Bible has had many themes surrounding the story, its characters, and the messages. Themes that come and go throughout the book are that things happen for a reason, everyone is equal, and don’t judge a book by its cover. Orleanna is the base of the story. She’s the wise and motherly figure, obviously, to some people; especially her daughters. She becomes depressed after one of her daughters died.
Barbara Kingsolver does a wonderful job with incorporating literary devices into her novel. These literary devices help the reader to experience the words written on the page and it allows the reader to think that they are actually living the story. One major literary device that Kingsolver uses throughout the book to show her ideas to the reader is imagery. “Her dark hair is tied in a ragged lace handkerchief, and her curved jawbone is lit with large, false-pearl earrings, as if these headlamps from another world might show the way.” (pg 5) When I hear these words, I am able to paint a picture inside of my head of Orleana Price.
A Response to Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible and the essentializing of Africa: a critical double standard? Barbara Kingsolver was not able to enter the Congo/Zaire while she was writing this book. She admits that she is relying on memories, other cultures, and others accounts of what the Congo/Zaire is like to write this book. I disagree with what William F. Purcell has to say about the use of cultures in her book.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver shows the women of the Congo as being the workers of the family. They take care of the children, going so far as to carry them around constantly once they reach a certain age, and they are responsible for all the housework. The females are seen as capable and have many responsibilities. In spite of this, the reality for the real women of the Congo is that they are in constant fear of being a victim of sexual violence. Sexual violence can happen anywhere, but in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) it occurs on a daily basis (Ganzamungu and Maharaj 737).