Leah Price In The Poisonwood Bible

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Pauline Hopkins once said that “our surroundings influence ours lives and characters as just as much as fate, destiny, or any supernatural agency does.” In most cases, Hopkins would be correct. One can absolutely see this concept in the case of Leah Price from The Poisonwood Bible. Early in this novel, Leah Price is the daughter that tried to follow in her father 's footsteps. Almost everything that Leah does is to gain the respect from her father, Nathan, that she so craves. Leah’s fight for Nathan’s attention and love has gone on for years, since she was born basically. Things quickly change for Leah, however when she meets Anatole. Being with and around Anatole shows Leah exactly how bad life in the Belgian Congo really is for the Congolese…show more content…
She takes all of their belongings and puts them in their front yard, telling the people of Kilanga that they can have whatever they want, that she has no need for anything anymore. Orleanna, Leah, and Adah just leave. Nathan is oblivious to their action of leaving him, and Rachel ran off with the pilot, Eeben Axelroot. When Leah catches malaria from being outside and walking for a while, Anatole convinces some people of another village to let Leah stay there and rest. Meanwhile, Orleanna and Adah hit the road, leaving Leah behind. After a while, the village that Leah was being harbored in kicks her out and says that she can no longer stay. At this time, the people of the Belgian Congo are completely against all westerners, which happen to be white people. The Congolese blame the white people for everything wrong that has been done to them. When Leah learns of this hatred, she understands and takes their side. Leah takes on the burden of the black man. The burden of the black man is the time in the lives of the Africans where they have to defend themselves from the colonizers, or to them, the white westerners. In the poem The Black Man’s Burden, by H.T. Johnson in 1899 as a reply to The White Man’s Burden, Johnson says “Pile on the Black Man’s Burden/His wail with laughter drown/You’ve sealed the Red Man’s problem/And will take up the Brown.” (Johnson 9-12) This excerpt shows readers exactly what the Africans were forced to go through. The people of Africa were taken over and forced to do hard labor with no reward. This part of the poem says that the white men have already dealt with the red man’s problem, which were the American Indians. After receiving word of this, they knew that they weren’t far behind them. By witnessing Lumumba’s speech and moving to the Belgian Congo, Leah sees the pain and suffering that the African people

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