Nontraditional Families In The Bean Trees

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Throughout the book “The Bean Trees” by Barbara Kingsolver, there are many examples of nontraditional families. Your traditional nuclear family would consist of a father, mother, a child maybe two. You do not see that in “The Bean Trees”. One example of a nontraditional family would be before Taylor and her mother Alice before Taylor left Kentucky. Then another nontraditional family would be Estevan and Esperanza. The final nontraditional family would be Taylor, Turtle, Lou Ann, and Dwayne Ray. Taylor, or Marietta, and her mother Alice, or mama, were a nontraditional family from the very beginning. When Alice became pregnant with Taylor, she originally named her Marietta because she was conceived in a car in Marietta, Georgia. Alice was then…show more content…
First of all they are from Guatemala. Estevan and Esperanza are illegal immigrants staying with Mattie in the apartment above her tire shop to escape the horrible things they went through when in Guatemala. There were many hardships in their life, including their daughter Ismene being taking by the government in Guatemala because they did not give up the names of teachers on the teachers’ union. Due to this event Esperanza became very depressed and even tried to kill herself. Another reason they are not a traditional family is because of how they have to live. Estevan is a trained English teacher but is working nights at a restaurant to make money since he can not get a real job because he is an illegal immigrant. They also have very little possessions in their name compared to how normal families live. This is shown when Estevan and Esperanza are leaving with Taylor to go to a safe house in Oklahoma. “Estevan and Esperanza had one suitcase between them and it was smaller then mine...I had packed for a week, ten days at the outside, and they were packed for the rest of their lives.” (Kingsolver 251). They had to live lightly because of moving around all the times to hide so that way they are not sent back to Guatemala. Just as when they moved to the safe house in Oklahoma. But before they went there they helped secure Turtle’s adoption with Taylor by pretending to be Turtle’s real parents so that…show more content…
There are many reason why this is a nontraditional family. One way would be how they all came to live together. Taylor had left Kentucky to find her own way because she did not want to be stuck there having kids like the rest of the people around her. So when she left she drove through Oklahoma where an old lady had given her a small toddler. The child’s grip was so tight that Taylor named her Turtle because it reminded her of the mud turtles back in kentucky. Then in Arizona taylor responded to a newspaper ad of a woman with a baby who needed a roommate. Instantly Lou Ann and Taylor clicked so Taylor moved in with Turtle and got a job at a tire store near by. Another reason why they aren’t a traditional family would be because of the way they worked together. When Taylor would not be home, Lou Ann would watch Turtle and Dwayne Ray and Turtle and make them dinner. Then vice versa when Lou Ann got a job at a salsa factory. Then when Taylor and Lou Ann both worked Turtle and Dwayne Ray would go next store and be watched by the neighbors Edna and Virgie Mae. Taylor, Turtle, Lou Ann, and Dwayne Ray all fell together in a strange way. Turtle was the main connection among them all and she had a funny way of bringing people together. She did this through vegetables. “She watched the dark highway and entertained me with her vegetable-soup song, except now there were people mixed in...Dwayne
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