The Bean Trees Character Analysis

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In Barbara Kingsolver’s novel The Bean Trees, Taylor represents a bildungsroman character. A bildungsroman story is a coming of age story that consists of four stages. In the first stage of a bildungsroman character’s journey, she experiences a loss or painful experience that drives her to start a new life. The character goes through a baptismal rite in the second stage, which always involves water. The character endures many difficult trials in the third stage, but ends up gaining a new insight about life in the fourth stage. Taylor’s journey in the Bean Trees has all four of these stages, making her a bildungsroman character. Although Taylor’s desire for independence begins her journey, she eventually realizes people need a network…show more content…
One of the most challenging trials Taylor experiences is the struggle to legally adopt Turtle. After Turtle almost gets molested while at the park with Edna, Taylor and Turtle start going to therapy with Cynthia, a social worker. During one of these sessions, Cynthia informs Taylor that the state has discovered that Turtle has no legal guardian. Not only is this true, “But there was other bad news. During the third week of sessions with Cynthia she informed me that it had recently come to the attention of the Child Protection Services Division of the Department of Economic Security...that I had no legal claim to Turtle” (Kingsolver 233). This is “bad news” for Taylor, because it means that the government has the right to legally take Turtle away from her. Since Taylor has “no legal claim” to Turtle, she must either find a way to adopt Turtle, or give her up to the government. Taylor has started to learn how to thrive with Turtle, but she must first go through the struggle of finding Turtle’s legal guardian, and having them give Turtle to her. Since she doesn’t even know the name of the woman who gave Turtle to her, finding her, or finding another way to adopt Turtle, will be one of Taylor’s hardest trials in stage three of her journey. After Taylor successfully adopts Turtle, they visit a library while waiting for

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