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Poisonwood Bible Allusions

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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. I am able to imagine what she looks like and this imagery provides the reader with direct characterization of…show more content…
She makes multiple biblical allusions in this novel, hence the name Poisonwood Bible. One major allusion we can all notice is that she uses the same name to start of the book as the bible, Genesis. Genesis was the first book in the bible as it is in the Poisonwood bible. She makes direct allusions to the scripture of the bible as well. In Daniel 14 : 23-42, he spreads ashes near the altar to show that the serpent god that the jews were worshipping was not a god because there were footprints, showing it was not a serpent. Kingsolver relates this piece of scripture to when Ruth May dies. In the novel the girls do the same thing and also find a six toe footprint as well, which they realize to be Tata Kuvudundu’s six toe…show more content…
These figures of speech allow the reader to go outside of what the words on the page mean. It allows the reader to imagine and picture a different idea of how the words are trying to be expressed. Kingsolver does a wonderful job of this especially at the beginning of the book. “ Sitting next to me on the plane, she kept batting her white-rabbit eyelashes and adjusting her bright pink hairband, trying to get me to notice she had secretly painted her fingernails bubble-gum pink to match.” (pg 15) She uses the metaphor “ white-rabbit eyelashes” to emphasize the concept that her eyelashes could possibly look like that of a rabbit. Although she is not literally saying that her eyelashes were that of a rabbit. Using metaphors in pieces of work can be very beneficial for the author as it lets the reader to picture what the writer is trying to say. The author also uses similes to give the idea to the reader as well. Similes compare unlike things using words such as like or as. “Her elbows stuck out like wings, and a huge white enameled tub occupied the space above her head, somewhat miraculously holding steady while her head moved in quick jerks to the right and left.” (pg 38) Her elbows were not literally wings, but the author uses this simile to compare her elbows to that of a chicken. Using figurative language as a literary device is very important because it allows
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