Symbolism In The Poisonwood Bible

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In the novel The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver, Leah Price moves to the Congo with her family as part of a missionary. Through their experiences in the Congo, and living amongst a community with many political conflicts, Leah discovers the importance of justice and selflessness. Kingsolver uses assertive and benevolent tones, and symbolism throughout the story to portray the voice of Leah, illustrating Leah’s determination to adamantly strive for justice and equality for Africa and its people, rather than believing that her heritage, her father and God are superior to those around her. Her father’s authority and idealism overshadows her point of view, as she is highly set on her father’s approval and ultimately, God’s approval too. By using phrases such as “But my father needs permission only from the Saviour, who obviously is all in favor of subduing the untamed wilderness for a garden (36)”, Kingsolver establishes Leah’s narrow-minded belief that her father is ‘A Chosen One from God’ and he will pacify the Congolese. When they arrive in the Congo, the locals resist the preachings of her father. Leah sympathizes for her father, thinking that “Not everyone can see it, but my father’s heart is as large as his hands. And his wisdom is great…(42)”. Through the conciliatory tone that Kingsolver establishes through Leah’s father, Leah fails to recognize that the people of the Congo do not need their religion to save them, as those people have their own traditional
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