The Poisonwood Bible Orleanna Character Analysis

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Natalie Godinez
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In The Poisonwood Bible Orleanna doesn’t relay how she met Nathan until the third book. Orleanna says that she married Nathan because she thought he would save her from her occasional cursing and vanity. However, I think that the way Orleanna grew up has a lot to do with why she married him. She grew up during the Great Depression with no mother and a father who could not support a family financially. Orleanna’s aunt probably brought up the idea of marriage at dinner not because she believed Nathan would make a good husband but because it would be one less financial burden if Orleanna were to leave the household. Orleanna also states that she couldn’t have formed her own opinion if he had really
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She thought that this might have made God send her Adah as a punishment. This is obviously Nathan’s brainwashing speaking and not the Orleanna before Nathan. The more likely reason is the lack of nourishment Orleanna got when she was pregnant. “I was home waiting for him, drinking four glasses of water before he arrived so I could watch him eat whatever there was without my stomach growling.” She also describes their poverty as something God sent and they would just have to deal with His punishment. She developed this mind-set because of Nathan. Every little thing she did he made sure to make it a point that it was because of God and not her effort. Nathan made her feel like she was constantly being punished and you can’t go against what God has planned for…show more content…
I think that people who think they can just take over other people will always ultimately fail because everyone who was “conquered” will take what they learned from their oppression and rise up to become better, more successful people than the ones who “conquered” them. There are many examples of this throughout history but you can also see it in everyday life. Orleanna gives many of these examples but she does not discuss the cases of her daughters. Leah is a great example of someone who was oppressed for so long by her father until she could perceive his faults and break away from his mindset. Instead of being set on the idea that her old culture was superior and that they need to convert everyone, she becomes integrated in African culture by appreciating and understanding their ways. She rose up from her father’s ways and became a better person who helps others unconditionally rather than an abusive, stubborn supremacist like her
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