The Bean Trees Essay

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Elyse Lord is a writing instructor at the University of Utah and the author of a Utopian novel entitled Everything is Lovely and the Goose Honks High. In the following essay, she defends Kingsolver's use of Utopian and feminist ideals in The Bean Trees.

As excerpts from the reviews will reveal, Critics generally rave about Barbara Kingsolver's prose in her first novel, The Bean Trees. Kingsolver blends "common language with beautifully constructed Images," Writes one Critic. She "delivers enough original dialogue and wry one-liners to put this novel on a shelf of its own," Writes another. "Ming solver doesn't waste a single overtone. From the title of her novel to its ending, every little scrap of event or observation is used, reused, revivified with sympathetic vibrations," writes another.

What divides, even troubles critics is the novel's Utopian Impulse. Writes Jack Butler, Taylor Greer (the novel's heroine) "confronts prejudice...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 2,218 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Bean Trees Study Guide
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