Barbara Kingsolver's "The Bean Trees".

Essay by bullets1Junior High, 9th gradeA+, November 2003

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Taylor Greer

Taylor Greer - stubborn, free - spirited, and independent. In Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees, we witness much of this character's growth as she gains knowledge of the world around her. In the beginning of the story, Taylor leaves her home in Kentucky on a search to find a new life, and on the way picks up an abused baby girl, named Turtle, in need of a good home. Taylor, being a new mother and believing that she had a bad life in Kentucky, had a lot to learn not only about motherhood, but about the world.

A big way Taylor grew throughout this book was as mother. When Taylor first picked up Turtle on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma, she didn't quite know what to do. Turtle had been abused physically and sexually and needed a good mother. When Taylor and turtle arrive in Tucson, Taylor refers to Turtle as "something she got stuck with," like Turtle had no feelings or needs.

A tire sales lady in Tucson named Mattie gave Turtle some much needed juice and crackers, and Taylor realized that Turtle also needs to eat and drink something every once in a while. Incidents like this throughout the book show how Taylor gradually grew more and more by learning about what Turtle needed. There were sometimes, though, when Taylor couldn't be there for Turtle when she needed her, like when Turtle was molested again, and Taylor avoided her Turtle for two weeks because she didn't know what to do. This showed how Taylor wasn't done learning; she still needed to grow as a mother. Finally, at the end of the book, Taylor changed and realized what it took to be a mom, and how much she really loved and wanted to care for...