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. Nathan never realizes that he mispronounces these words, so his version of the Bible is poisonous to the locals because of all the mispronunciations.
on a person, in this case it’s Adah. The exile she had around her family and
Having read, The Poisonwood Bible book, it was both fascinating and interesting. The author, Barbara Kingsolver, was quick with her diction and used quite a lot of figurative language. The objective of the book was to show the true meaning of Africa and show how it was difficult to convert the people of Africa to Christianity religion. The setting was present in Georgia, which later they traveled to a village called Kilanga in Congo, in which they started their journey. The main characters includes, Nathan Price who was the main character, his wife Orleanna Price, and their four daughters, Rachel, Leah, Adah, and Ruth May.
There are many ways an author can convey the message of any story. Elements such as the Plot, Conflict, Character/Characterization, Setting, Symbolism, Narration, and Imagery are used in these ways. For example, in the In the story "Harrison Bergeron", the author Kurt Vonnegut uses the characterization, and the conflict to communicate the message to the reader that Uniformity and strict laws lead to a loss of personal freedom and individuality.
In Barbara Kingsolver’s work, The Poisonwood Bible, Nathan Price is a character which responds to injustice in some significant way. Out of all the other characters, Nathan is the one who responds the most to an act of injustice by going on a campaign halfway around the world to somehow repay his obligation to God. He plans to do this by spreading Christianity, or at least his version of Christianity, to the native people of the Congo. The whole reason for him doing this is that he believes being wounded and leaving battle right before the rest of his company dies is an act of injustice and feels as if though he should have died there with his men. Nathan feels like he is a failure and is guilty for not dying with his brothers on the battlefield.
Theme is defined as the underlying meaning in a work of literature. Authors develop theme to connect literature to our daily lives. “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, “A and P” by John Updike, and “Cold Equations” by Tom Goodwin, all have different themes, but place an important emphasis on the heartache and pain caused by learning the truths in life. In these short stories, each character has a realization about life and it changes their future perspective on the world.
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
In the novel, The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver, a missionary family travel to the African Congo during the 1960’s, in hopes of bringing enlightenment to the Congolese in terms of religion. The father, Nathan, believes wholeheartedly in his commitment, and this is ultimately his downfall when he fails to realize the damage that he is placing upon his family and onto the people living in Kilanga, and refuses to change the way he sees things. However, his wife, Orleanna, and her daughters, Rachel, Leah, Adah, and Ruth May, take the Congo in, and make the necessary changes in their lives, and they do this in order to survive with their new darkness that they are living in. Curiosity and acceptance help the ones with curious minds,
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
Storytelling can be described as a powerful tool, with the ability to reach many different individuals and affect their perspectives through the messages they are conveying. Narratives in a similar sense can have perverse effects on human consciousness, leaving impacts of how we think, feel, imagine, remember and relate. Mitchell states that popular fiction is important to society as it contains many important messages that can be disguised as social transformation or ideological revisioning due to the large and diverse audience that it is able to reach (Mitchell, 2012). The focus will be to examine four different popular fiction narratives from this term and the important messages within them that aid or encourage some aspect of social transformation.
Literature is a medium that enables people to effectively express their opinions and perspectives. Being the vast genre that it is, fiction presents writers with the opportunity to utilize literary devices in their pieces. These devices help in communicating the message of the author’s work. Several fictional texts use common literary devices such as metaphors, similes, symbols, and imagery. These devices allow for writers to personally involve readers with the author’s message. Specifically, allowing for the writer to demonstrate a sense of cultural identity through their writing. For African writers David Don Mattera and David Diop, the use of literary devices is essential in conveying the message of their texts. When analyzing Mattera’s “Afrika Road” and Diop’s
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. His way of speaking is told to us by Leah to be “rising in such a way that heaven and anger get mingled together”, which presents the reader with Lumumba’s passion and how well-spoken he is.
The Poisonwood Bible explores multiple different meanings ranging from love and loyalty, to ignorance and political oppression. While it is a story of the journey of the Price family in the Congo, Kingsolver uses these narratives to draw a bigger picture of the geopolitics that are at play in the Congo. I think the overarching theme of the novel is ignorance and its opposite: empathy. We follow the journeys of ignorant characters such as Rachel and Nathan Price and are given a parallel with the journeys of Adah, Leah, and Orleanna. However Kingsolver showcases the realities of life here or beyond by the end of the novel where it is clear that none of the characters we met at the beginning would end up with lives that fulfilled all their dreams
Orleanna says, "To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know" (385). Adah says, about her mother, "...she constantly addresses the ground under her feet. Asking forgiveness. Owning, disowning, recanting, recharting a hateful course of events to make sense of her own complicity. We all are, I suppose. Trying to invent our version of the story. All human odes are essentially one. ‘My life: what I stole from history, and how I live with it. ' (492). What does this novel ultimately say about storytelling? The Poisonwood Bible claims that, in storytelling, everyone tries to reform their own version of their life into an appealing story, talking mainly about the struggles they face in their life and “how they live with it” (Kingsolver 492). Adah claims that all stories are exactly based off of this essential element, a type of archetype that has many archetypals, but are all still considered the same thing. For example, if a war hero wrote a story on his life in WWII and another writer, a biologist, wrote a story on a Grizzly Bear. Both are different in topic, setting, characters, and plot, but both address the story of a living being that lived and faced good times and hardships along the way.
When thinking of the wilderness one might picture a scene from a camp site. Untamed dense forest, and endless jungle probably come first to mind and although this might be one meaning of wilderness, Mellor’s perception of wilderness and pastoral opens our thoughts on how we view the unpredictable and the known. In “Lure Of The Wilderness” by Leo Mellor, he shows the meaning of the unexplored wilderness and the surprises that come with the unknown, while humans try to tame what is wild and create a pastoral environment around them. Mellor’s writing helps understand hidden aspects in the short story “Wild” by Lesley Arimah, when Ada is blindsided with a plane ticket to visit her aunt in Africa. She travels to a place mostly unknown to her, besides the relatives living there. It might seem that Ada does not like to reach out and try something that could be considered out of the norm. Yet, she travels to an unknown mostly foreign to her given the past years of her childhood. It challenges Ada to change her perspective on certain aspects of her life, helping her overcome the wilderness she finds emerged in. Thus, when Mellor’s idea of wilderness in his essay are applied to “Wild”, it can be realized that Ada not only journeys into the wilderness, but starts to let it transform her into a new person, helping her develop a more pastoral environment around her and making her realize that the relationships back in the U.S. meant more to her than she had previously thought.