The Poisonwood Bible Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 79 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Poisonwood Bible.
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The major theme is an indictment of colonialism. Against the backdrop of colonial Africa, the Price family itself is a metaphor of a colonized society. Nathan is the oppressor, who rules his family with "a strong hand, tightly clenched." Orleanna refers to him as "occupying a foreign country." Colonizers are similarly referred to in the novel as ruling "with a fatherly hand."

Nathan exploits his wife and daughters to further his own agenda and wrestle with his personal demons, and does not seem to care if he sacrifices their well-being in the process. As the strongest driving force for their presence in Africa, Nathan also has the least understanding of the people he's trying to convert of anyone in his family. To varying degrees, the Price women adapt to their surroundings, learn about the Congolese, and rally in order to survive against their harsh conditions. As the Congolese move...

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This section contains 398 words
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Buy The Poisonwood Bible Study Guide
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