But the Congo doesn’t allow this, it changes this family in more ways than one and will forever impact their lives once they step into it. However, the one person who finally accepts her changes and becomes the complete opposite of what she was when she arrives at the Congo? Orleanna Price. Orleanna is not the favorite character among all the different individuals, but she does have an impact when she loses one of her little ones. This is her breaking point and quite honestly shows the first change she has in the book.
The Poisonwood Bible is a realistic fiction story written by Brenda Kingsolver in which a family from Georgia travels to the Congo for African missionary work. The Price family, made up of Nathan, Orleanna, and their four children, are not accustomed to the Congolese ways of life, for they come from completely opposite conditions. When they witness the culture of these African people, they are all in disbelief at how a village could live in that way. Therefore, The Price family, mainly the preacher Nathan, see it as their duty to “civilize” the people of the Congo. They are in Africa to solely to teach the people about morals and Christianity, and throughout the book, the girls seem to be more connected to the African people.
Imagine being fourteen years old and living in a small town in Georgia, packing up as much as you can, or what could fit under your clothes and into a bag, and moving to the Congo of Africa. That’s exactly what the Price family did under their father’s will. Throughout Barbara Kingsolver 's Poisonwood Bible, Leah price experiences the Congo to its’ full potential. Both her psychological and moral traits were formed by cultural, physical, and geographical surroundings. The congolese people influence her decisions and thoughts throughout the book.
Now in the Congo, Orleanna is not the same person as before. “Mother tried to think of every contingency, including hunger and illness (Kingsolver 14).” The mother must care for her family by providing meals and medicine, no longer able to present herself in the church environment. Diseases such as malaria and kakakaka, as the natives call it, are abundant in the homes of the neighbors around the Price family. Later in the novel one of the daughters catches malaria, because she does not take her medicine and this becomes a hassle for Orleanna. When in Georgia, Orleanna has no concern for dangerous diseases such as this, but now she is surrounded by contagious viruses that distract her from the real reason Nathan brings the family along on the mission.
Barbara Kingsolver’s novel, The Poisonwood Bible, is about a missionary family named the Prices who move from the U.S. state of Georgia to the village of Kilanga in the Belgian Congo. For the Price women, their previous identities consisted of their relationship to their American culture; once they are in Africa, that identity is forced to shift and adapt to the African culture. Homi Bhabha’s concept of “hybridity”, is defined as the result of the interactions of colonizers and colonized. Bhabba writes that colonizing cultures cannot alter a native culture without adapting characteristics themselves. The members of the Price family come into Africa bringing their own American ideologies with the goal to educate the native people, starting with
In the novel, The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver illustrates Nathan Price’s desire for power over the people of Kilanga and the women of his family through his religious beliefs to depict the materialization and effect the “White Man’s Burden” and misogyny can have on an individual. As the white man enters the heart of Africa to perform “God’s will”, he feels immense pleasure from overpowering the African natives. That white man is Nathan Price, a Southern Baptist Preacher. As Nathan and his family first arrive to the village of Kilanga, the villagers and their leader, Tata Ndu, welcome them with a freshly-killed goat. However, despite this warm welcome, Nathan becomes horrified by the nakedness and sins the villagers exhibit.
The clash of the West and Africa, creates unique situations that everyone must face. The Poisonwood Bible, written by Barbara Kingsolver, shows how foreigners who enter another land are affected by the countries culture and faith, and in return how a society is affected. In the novel, children are led by the missionary father, Nathan into the Congo, where they face the task of religious conversion. Also, the Price children were influenced by the African culture and faith, in which changed how they view life and their attitudes toward the Congo. Each child’s perception of life distinct and molds them into the person they will become.
This assumption causes Adah to feel separated from her family but more aware of the critical world around her. The only understanding Adah receives is from the Congo itself, for the Congo’s perception on life also differs from other places due to its condition. Rachel Price, her younger sister, explains that “Used to be, Adah was the only one of us in our family with something wrong with her. But here nobody stares at Adah except just a little because she’s white...”(5). Disability is seen common in the Congo and they do not dance around her disability but call her “benduka” (Crooked Walker).
Leah was the one who mostly supported and followed her father, she also brings the tomboy side, with hunting aspects and wanting to hangout and do what the males do. Rachel’s perspective throughout was selfish and privileged. Rachels chapters are filled with complaining and comparisons to her old life in Georgia and when she gets older she is still all about the luxurious lifestyle and puts herself in front of others while throwing out racial slurs. Next, Adah, she was Leah’s twin and the disabled one people overlooked, when in actuality, she was so smart she could read and write backwards. Lastly, Orleanna, she was the maternal perspective, who talked about the struggle of
She learns that doing things to please herself instead of her father makes her feel more accomplished and have that sense of worthiness that her father wasn’t giving her. Kingsolver uses these factors to get the audience to see the change in Leah’s views and beliefs as the book goes on and as she grows up into a woman. Her relationship with her father is a lot like her relationship with God because she talks to both of them and neither of them ever respond directly to her. She feels unwanted and like a distraction to her father’s main purpose in life, which is to save people through the word of God. Her surroundings in the Congo begin to shape her morals and psychological beliefs that push her away from not only her father, but God as well.
For my novel of choice, I chose The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. The novel follows Nathan price, a Baptist preacher, and his family as he attempts to bring salvation to people in Belgian Congo. However, this novel is way more complex than I thought it would be since it deals with issues involving family dynamics, religion, injustice, politics and many more. The novel is also told from five different points of view from Orleanna Price and her four daughters Rachel, Leah, Adah and Ruth May. Their voices are very unique throughout the novel which helped me get to know them each as individuals as the novel continued.