Poisonwood Bible

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Two Contrasting Places
Barbara Kingsolver's highly acclaimed fiction novel is a truly academic work of art created to address the concepts of guilt, religion, and foreign interference. The novel follows the exceedingly religious Price family as they venture from the small southern town of Bethlehem, Georgia into the unrefined African jungles of the Congo. As Nathan Price, accompanied by his wife and four daughters, attempts to save as many souls as their new African home presents them with, he and his family must first learn to accept their new community for what it truly is. The contrasting differences between the Price family's Georgia home and their new lives in the Congo ultimately represent two opposing ways of life and the relationship between the two places help to contribute to the meaning of the work as a whole.

Nathan Price and his family were accustomed to a life of simplicity under American terms. However, once they stepped foot into the Congolese village of Kilanga they soon realized just how much they took for granted. In Georgia, the Price family enjoyed such American luxuries as electricity, ample food supply, health care, numerous outfits in perfect condition, and much more. As they left their comfortable southern home, they carried with them as much as they could fit in, “forty-four pounds of luggage per person, and not one iota more.” (14). Fortunately for them, the forty four pounds of luggage they were allowed to bring on their journey made them the riches people in Kilanga. The African natives of their village had never before known, and were not likely to soon find out, about the conveniences that came along with plumbing, clean water, lights, medicine, and other things of that nature. To the Price family, Africa was more like another world, rather than just another country, and to the African natives the Price family was that same world's idea of exotic foreigners.

As the Price family emanated from rural southern America, they...
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