"Barbara Kingsolver Essays"

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Kingsolver's Animal Dreams and Native Americans Essay

Words: 1102 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 81582108

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver. Specifically it will discuss how Kingsolver portrays Native American and Hispanic people in the novel. Codi, the main character in "Animal Dreams," returns to her small hometown of Grace, Arizona, after a long absence. She learns to love her past and her family during her return, and she encounters her high school sweetheart, a Native American who wants to settle down with her. Throughout the novel, Kingsolver portrays Hispanic and Native Americans favorably, and even idealistically, but her writing style and devotion to her subjects make these idealistic portrayals succeed in the novel.

Codi and her family are Hispanics, although Kingsolver never really states this in the novel. It becomes clear as the novel progresses and the culture of Grace becomes known. Their real names are Hispanic, many of the townspeople are Hispanic, and their celebrations are all based on Hispanic celebrations, such as the Day of the Dead at the opening of the book, and the "little fiesta" Emelina organizes for Labor Day weekend. Even the pinatas the children play with are part of the Hispanic culture. Kingsolver seamlessly blends all of these elements into the book, so the reader is aware of them but not too aware of them. They seem like the elements of any American culture, things that are traditional and commonplace in any community, which is one way she manages to portray Hispanics with dignity and sympathy. They do not seem different or alien; they simply appear as "normal" everyday human beings. This is one way Kingsolver portrays the Hispanic community favorably, by not making them different, unusual, or odd in any way. Their actions and culture are natural, not forced, and so, their society seems somehow superior and admirable as a result. Kingsolver also portrays the best parts of the culture, while using gentle humor to portray some of the quirks of the society, such as the grandmother's…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal Dreams. New York: Harper Collins, 1990.
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Consequences of the Human Condition Is the Essay

Words: 5357 Length: 20 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 68362714

consequences of the human condition is the abusive manner in which people can treat each other, sometimes without even consciously realizing it. Although even otherwise-loving and happy couples who appear to "have it all" may experience emotionally abusive behaviors from time to time, when these patterns of behaviors persist, they can work an enormous toll on their victims as well as their perpetrators. Unfortunately, studies have shown time and again that emotional abuse tends to perpetuate itself from one generation to the next, making the need for timely and effective interventions essential. The implications of emotional abuse are profound and include both social as well as economic costs that demand more attention from the healthcare community to break the vicious cycle of intergenerational emotional abuse. To this end, the reason for writing this study included identifying current approaches and best practices for emotionally abusive situations.

Overview of Sources

A preliminary review of the recent (within the last 10 years or so), relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly sources at both public and university libraries indicated that a vast body of research exists on emotional abuse. A priority will be assigned to locating additional scholarly resources of this type for the formal study; however, in order to obtain as much recent and reliable information concerning the incidence and consequences of emotional abuse, appropriate government online resources such as the United States National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (1996) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will also be consulted for the most current estimates of incidence of emotional abuse in the United States. Additional online resources will also be consulted as hyperlinks on these governmental Web sites are reviewed and useful data that is serendipitously identified will also be incorporated where appropriate.

Although there remains a need for additional research in this area, the general consensus that emerged from the preliminary review of the available sources indicated that a general consensus exists that women are at higher risk of emotional abuse than men, but emotional abusive behaviors are not restricted to men alone. Another general consensus that emerged from the preliminary research was that…… [Read More]

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Respond to a Quote Essay

Words: 343 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 26566202

Poisonwood Bible," by Barbara Kingsolver. Specifically, it will respond to this quote: "Misunderstanding is my cornerstone. It's everyone's come to think of it. Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization."


Everyone lives under illusions of some type of another, and some illusions are absolutely necessary for sanity and the success of civilization. If we truly believed everything in print, on the news, and on the Internet, we would go crazy. Misunderstandings and illusions are necessary to keep a balance in ourselves, and in our society. For example, the illusion, mistaken for the truth, that most politicians are honest keeps Americans voting in elections, and makes them believe that local, state, and national government is still being run by the people, when it is in reality mostly run by the big business special interest groups and lobbyists who wield the most power. However, the illusion that we still have a say in government keeps us relatively happy, and keeps people…… [Read More]

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Homeland Heritage and Everyday Objects Essay

Words: 703 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 25335251

African-Americans, as members of a group who were forcibly migrated to America are not immigrants, and Native Americans are the original inhabitants of this land. But Chinese-Americans such as Amy Tan, although she is a daughter of willing immigrants to America, also experience identity conflicts. In "Half and Half" Amy Tan explicitly identifies her protagonist Rose as feeling half American, half Chinese in a manner that often makes her feel adrift in the world. Part of this passivity, Tan suggests, is Rose's guilt and self-loathing from accidentally letting her brother drown when she was supposed to be watching him. In the midst of a bitter divorce, Rose eventually reconnects emotionally with her mother and resolves to fight for the house she loves. Asserting her right to a physical homeland in America becomes a source of pride for Rose -- her home becomes her homeland in America, and establishes her right to exist, a right she doubted after her brother died. Despite the fact that her mother and she have different understandings of the importance of physical space and objects, the two women, representing east and west, find common ground in Rose's right to her home.

A sense of common ground is less certain in Silko's "The man to send rain clouds," where an Indian man is buried according to Native traditions, in hopes of bringing rain. A nearby priest is clearly uncomfortable when asked to sprinkle holy water on the man's grave, and the Natives and white man have entirely different understandings of what the priest's gesture signifies. White and Native understandings of the world are entirely incommensurate, and there is no dialogue between the two cultures. However, the priest is still able to show compassion to the Native peoples, and the Native people show a need for the priest's services in a way that indicates that they have interiorized some of the whites' understanding of the world. No culture remains static in America, and all people and all cultures must change to survive: that is why establishing an identity in America is so difficult.… [Read More]

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American Myths the Flag Is Essay

Words: 1384 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 23422875

As Margaret Atwood points out, Americans have as much to be ashamed of as to be proud of.

When Barbara Kingsolver claims "The values we fought for and won there are best understood, I think, by oil companies," she refers to the way the American flag has been distorted. The issues the flag symbolizes, such as freedom and liberty, are myths for many people. As Kingsolver points out, the American flag has been used to justify many evils including wars like Vietnam and Iraq. Instead of delivering true freedom, liberty, and democracy, the American flag really brought economic dependence. Instead of associating the American flag with negativity, death, and intimidation, Kingsolver suggests that Americans reclaim it. The red stripes do not need to symbolize war. They can also symbolize "blood donated to the Red Cross."

The American flag is a flexible symbol that is often used in ways that manipulate the public. The flag is therefore like a propaganda tool. It can mean whatever the American people believe it to mean. The American flag has been used in many unconventional ways. At Woodstock, a famous photograph shows a couple with the American flag wrapped around them like a blanket. The flag means love and peace in this case, as well as freedom. When people burn the American flag, they are making a powerful political statement too. Burning the flag usually means some kind of hatred for what the United States stands for. After President Bush invaded Iraq, many people in the Middle East burned the American flag in protest. The American flag is sometimes burned at political protests in the United States, too. Protesting against war is one of the non-traditional uses for the flag as a symbol.

The American flag is used in many commercial settings too. For example, some packaging has American flag images and the flag is often worn on sports jerseys.…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Atwood, Margaret. "A Letter to America." Published on Friday, April 4, 2003 by the International Herald Tribune. Retrieved July 29, 2008 at http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0404-07.htm

Kingsolver, Barbara. "And Our Flag Was Still There." Published on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 in the San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 29, 2008 from Common Dreams at http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0925-08.htm
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Literature and Religion Essay

Words: 1640 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 78492126

Tender Mercies:

Breakdown and Reconstruction of Characters' Faith in the Poisonwood Bible

In The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver uses Biblical references in part to delineate the differences in her characters' relationship to religious faith as they deal with their father's participation in the Western assault on the Congolese. These differences in levels of faith that her characters experience are Kingsolver's primary method of characterization in the novel. Although all of the characters acquire much of their individuality through Kingsolver's depiction of their differing degrees of faith in God, the Bible and Nathan Price, the voices of Leah and Orleanna Price are particularly marked by their use of Biblical allusions. In the first book "Genesis," Leah believes aggressively in her preacher father's overbearing attempt to bring Christianity to the Congolese. As the narrative progresses, however, her quotes become increasingly ironic, and when she loses her connection to her father, the quotes disappear almost completely.

Orleanna Price's voice at the start is more passively accepting of her husband's religious authority, but grows increasingly and actively angry. Like her daughter, Orleanna's use of Biblical allusions demonstrates her sense of her role within the Price family and in the Congo.

The epigraph of the first book, taken from Genesis ironically foreshadows the spiritual breakdown of the characters that marks the rest of the narrative events. It says, "And God said unto them/Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion." The attitude expressed in these words sets up the moral superiority and racial preconceptions that most of the Price daughters feel toward both nature and the Congolese as they arrive in the Congo. At the end of the first book, Mama Tataba leaves and Nathan Price sets the African parrot, Methuselah, free. These two events mark the turning point at which Orleanna Price first wonders "Are we lost right now without knowing it?" Although all of the female characters ultimately experience the reference to Genesis as ironic, Leah experiences the strongest change in religious position of the four daughters.

In 1959, Leah's relationship to her zealous father is that of the unquestioning believer: innocence marked by complete devotion. She…… [Read More]

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Personal Experience Provides an Ideal Base for Essay

Words: 453 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 43741915

Personal experience provides an ideal base for the supportive arguments presented in Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream." By texturing his experiences with comparative statements, he was able to affect a wide population and encourage his position on non-violent, pro-active behavior to bring about equality for black Americans. Eric Liu employs the same personal technique in "A Chinaman's Chance: Reflections on the American Dream," but to support an argument somewhat opposite of King's. His position that racial identification is quintessential to each person's existence comes across as being less emotional than King's speech. However, Liu is no less convincing as he plays upon the practicality of his readers.

Barbara Kingsolver's "Stone Soup" seeks to redefine the popular concept of what composes a family unit. She calls upon her readers' sense of practicality, decency and humanity. Conversely, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead's "Women and the Future of Fatherhood" implores her readers to take action to stop the changing nature of the family unit because it is the mother's and father's duties to abide by their specified roles. Whitehead relies quite heavily on statistical data to make her case.

The various reasons that affect Americans from being more proactive to bring about social change is explored in "Soul of a Citizen" by Paul Rogat Loeb. He uses a combination a unique combination of statistical fact combined with rationale…… [Read More]

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High Tide in Tucson Hermit Essay

Words: 560 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 47909137


The connotations of the word "fungus," which Kingsolver uses to describe the term "want," is one of decay, unwanted growth, and a sort of taking-over by an alien body. Wants spring up unbidden just like fungi, and if left unchecked would swallow the globe. Needs, on the other hand, are described as "few enough to fit in a bucket" and as "dry" and "rattling" things. The first image gives a literal example of needs -- the food and water that could be carried in a bucket would suffice, for instance -- and the dryness suggests a lack of growth and a simplicity; the needs of human beings have not grown or changed.


If survival requires only the smallest bounties of nature, as Kingsolver stresses throughout this essay that it does, tan the few images of beauty that she lists as her means of retaining her grip in her happiness -- and her poetry -- are quite similar in their relation. The gulf between survival and poetry is small because both are built best by remaining simple.


Emily Dickinson was also very concerned with -- as in observant of and attentive to -- the natural world, and also often marked with great curiosity and insight the many ways in which the animal kingdom mimicked human behavior, and vice versa. This makes Kingsolver's allusion to her poetry in the last page especially fitting from author to author.


There are many ways Kingsolver's statement could be interpreted, but as a "brute feat" of "fortune," she is essentially reminding us that our birth is the result of animal urges and the…… [Read More]

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Organic vs Grocery Stores Organic Essay

Words: 2224 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 26206307

And in response to big power lobbying, Senate and House Republicans on the Agriculture appropriations inserted a provision in 2005 into the department's budget, which would allow the use of certain artificial ingredients in organic foods. Many players in the organic industry today also argue that they are willing to use some synthetics in producing organic food. Joseph Mendelson and other advocates of strict organic standards argue that these provisions will open a "Pandora's box," allowing big organic food producers to lobby for further loosening of the USDA standards (Warner).

The downsides of big food producers going organic is well-illustrated by the experience of Whole Foods Market. It grew out of a small vegetarian store opened by Mackay and his girlfriend in 1978 in a garage in Austin, Texas. In 1992, the company went nationwide, opening stores in several cities. Now, the company owns more than two hundred stores across the nation and in 2007 it opened a whopping ninety-nine-thousand-square-foot supercenter in London. It should be acknowledged that Mackey and his company promoted the ethics of food processing to American consumers, introducing the concept of "organic" to many Americans who have long forgotten it. "You can't argue with one thing," a vegetable organic farmer told a reporter, "if it wasn't for Whole Foods we'd still be handing out leaflets telling folk what organic is" (Renton). In other words, organic food became mainstream and popular, due partly to the efforts of Mackay and his company.

But the Whole Foods Market, in the opinions of many farmers who have worked with them, is no longer an ethical organics company. As Alex Renton argues, "Whole Foods Market is in most ways an ordinary capitalist empire, geared to the market and its mania for growth. . . . In the view of many American green campaigners, Whole Foods took an anti-big-shop movement, assimilated its virtues, did away with its annoyances, and made another big shop out of the result."…… [Read More]

Cloud, John. "Eating Better Than Organic." Time Magazine. 2 March 2007. Web. 22 March 2011.

"It's Easy Being Green: Organic vs. Conventional Foods -- the Gloves Come Off. Center for American Progress. 10 September 2008. Web. 22 March 2011.
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Parent-Child Relationship Codi Has a Very Complicated Essay

Words: 675 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 13173323

Parent-Child Relationship

Codi has a very complicated relationship with her father. It is not a conventional relationship. Their relationship to each other is renewed after her father falls ill. Her father (Doc Homer) has a different relationship with his daughters. His daughters, hallie and Codi moved out of their father's house when they grew up to adolescents. They both want to lead independent lives of their own. There has always been distance between the father and daughter ever since they were young. Something was lacking in their relationship and that was the only way of making the relationship work.

Their father had always separated them from the rest of the community and not let his offspring discover the true roots of their identity. He does not want to remember his ties to the Gracela valley and tries to forget them. He has never let his daughters reach out to him, which created a void in their lives. This void was a reflection of his own inner emptiness that had resulted from the death of his wife. She died three years after Codi was born. That is perhaps a factor, which has separated him from his two daughters. He doesn't deliberately wants to keep his daughters emotionally away but cannot help it because he has been immobilized but pain and guilt. Doc Homer wants to find the meaning of his life and its purpose and to try and fix all the wrongs of the past so he can move on. Instead he is stuck in that same cycle and can't move out of the guilt phase. This alienates his daughters from him. He has always been behind the scenes, as he loves his daughters but can't show his love for them, as he is fearful. It's a big mistake on his part to be a caring parent but not letting his progeny know how he feels for them.…… [Read More]