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Poisonwood Bible And All The Pretty Horses: A Literary Analysis

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Many people have optimistic views in their life, however there is a fine line between being optimistic and being ignorant of consequences people face for their actions (or inactions).The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is a novel about an American family and their journey on a mission trip into the Congo, in contrast, All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy is a novel about John Grady and his journey into adulthood as he runs away to Mexico. Despite the superficially differences of the two novels the authors show that people’s expectations are often romanticized and due to this can have grave consequences. The Reader can observe this through the expectations of Nathan Peirce and John Grady, the change in setting and the characters’…show more content…
A fresh start in a new location can be a good thing, however, if you’re not knowledgeable to the customs of your new environment things can change for the worse. In Kingsolver’s novel, one of the four daughters, Leah, develops a very strong interest in hunting. This seems absurd to the Congolese people as it is tradition for men to do all of the hunting and for women to do the domestic work, Leah hunting would be a clear violation of tradition. Due to this, many people voice their opposition such as Tata Ndu, Tata Kuvudundu, and some of the other old men. Regardless, the people of the village decide that they should vote on whether or not Leah should be able to hunt and it passes be a narrow margin 51-45. This is largely in part due to Anatole’s argument that change is necessary. However, shortly after Anatole finds a mamba snake in his bed and is lucky he isn 't killed. This could have had extremely grave consequences in Anatole’s life as well as Leah with their romanticised ideas that people will openly embrace change. Simallery, in McCarthy’s novel John Grady experiences a change in settings when he discovers Don Hector’s ranch. John sees this ranch as the place of his dreams, he sees his job not breaking horses or being put in charge of the horse breeding program as work, but rather as what he wants to do with the rest of his life. John Grady is ignorant of his surroundings, ignored the warning by Alejandra’s mother for him to be careful around her daughter, and…show more content…
Death is one of the most grave consequences that a person can face for their actions, however, to those with dangerously romantic views in literature it is not uncommon for it to occur. This, unfortunately is true for both of these novels. In Kingsolver 's novel, the Pierce families both actions and inactions result in the tragic death of the youngest daughter Ruth May. Their ideas that they did not have to conform to the society in which they were in and the romantic idea that everything would be okay within that family lead to this tragic death. It could have been avoided if they decided to leave the Congo during their opportunities to do so if they had a more realistic picture of their situation, however, whether due to optimism or due to ignorance they did not and Ruth May died. Similarly, in McCarthy’s novel there is also the tragic death of a child. Jimmy Blevins, the person that John and Rawlins traveled with, was brutally executed in front of John and Rawlins. This is due to the fact that Blevins murdered a man and stole a horse. This was due to his highly romantic view of justice, and the belief that he could do whatever he wanted. Death is truly a tragic event, however it is even more tragic when it is the loss of a child, especially when that loss is easily avoidable by thinking actions through rather than hanging onto romantic ideals of how things
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