The Influence Of Life In Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams

1415 Words6 Pages
Drawing on experience for inspiration, Barbara Kingsolver writes books that are influenced by her life. She incorporates her own characteristics into her characters. Knowing Kingsolver’s background is necessary in order to see the parallels between her life and work. The psychological school of criticism analyzes an author’s life and finds the underlying patterns within their works. In Kingsolver’s Animal Dreams, the main character has aspirations, a paternal relationship and personal beliefs similar to Kingsolver’s experiences. The psychological school of criticism is the best approach to use when analyzing Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Dreams because it shows the underlying similarities between Kingsolver’s book and life. The psychological…show more content…
Kingsolver comes from a small town in Kentucky called Carlisle. Carlisle is similar to Grace, a small bubble of unique culture isolated from the outside. Their hometowns are places where everyone is alike and no one leaves. Codi describes her town, “Grace hadn’t yet entered the era of parking meters,” (Kingsolver Animal Dreams 11). Both Grace and Carlisle are old time cities, without many stores or cell phone services which adds to their isolation. “What we didn’t have included almost anything respectable teenagers might do in the way of entertainment” (Kingsolver High tide in Tuscon 47). Since there are not many forms of entertainment for teens, they are left to themselves and end up stuck in Tucson. In addition, the people in these small towns know everything about everyone and are incredibly nosy. When Codi takes a trip from Grace to Tucson, she is surprised when every person she meets has no prior knowledge of her. Similarly, Kingsolver reflects this observation about Carlisle, “After I left, I understood what a rare thing it is to live among people who care that much about your business,” (Donahue cited by Mary Ellen Snodgrass). Kingsolver and Codi grew up in tight knit communities where conformity was praised and uniqueness was frowned
Open Document