The Bean Trees Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the relationship between Newt Hardbine and his father.

Newt and his father have an abusive relationship. Newt's father constantly puts him down, creating a feeling of worthlessness for Newt. Most likely, Newt's father puts him down to make himself feel more powerful. Newt suffers immensely from this type of abuse. Newt is not likely to ever recover from the abuse of his father because he is not able to escape from it and overcome it. Because Newt has no self worth, his life does not amount to anything. Ultimately, Newt's father kills him. Newt's death indicates the final culmination of the constant torment of his father's abuse.

2. Is Taylor an independent person? Explain.

Yes, Taylor gets her own job, buys a car and leaves town. Taylor is responsible for her own needs. To go beyond her own needs, Taylor begins taking on the responsibility of a baby as well. A woman gives a child to Taylor with little explanation. Instead of breaking down, Taylor gathers herself together and takes action. Leaving the child does not seem to be an option that reigns prevalent in Taylor's mind. Taylor feels that it is her duty to care for the child as well as herself.

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