The Bean Trees Essay

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A doctoral student at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Esdale reads The Bean Trees as a lyrical and critical account of family in America.

Readers and critics of a Barbara Kingsolver novel agree that politics and aesthetics wed in an often inspiring fashion. Reviewers have praised the freshness of the prose and the realism of her characters, who typically battle prejudice and a feeling of dislocation with great determination. Unfortunately, aesthetics and politics usually have a troubled marriage since-in the critic's eye-the one tends to undermine the other: books can be either works of beauty and genius or vehicles for political change. And since Kingsolver's politics are popular or "correct," her work has achieved more popular than critical success. Kingsolver, most likely, would not want it any other way. Leaving this debate to her readers, this essay instead focuses on the politics of names in...

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This section contains 2,298 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Bean Trees Study Guide
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The Bean Trees from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.