Poisonwood Bible: Nathans Function

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  • Topic: Congo
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  • Published : May 15, 2012
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Poisonwood Bible - Nathans Function
Nathan Price’s function in The Poisonwood Bible is not only to present the situation of being in the Congo to his family but also to show what happens when a foreign policy, such as religion, is introduced to a place that has never heard of it. In addition, Nathan is generally a static character in novel because throughout the book we see his ideas and actions remain generally the same. Nathan’s motivation for going to the Congo is what drives him until the moment he dies. He was made stubborn and determined because he represents the political domination of foreign lands and the role of men in that time period. Nathans actions in the novel can compare to the actions that the U.S. has done and how men thought of themselves in the time frame. First of all, Nathan’s character is a representation of political dominance in lands weak and unconquered. Nathan makes it fully clear that he is going to bring Christianity to the Congo if it is the last thing we do. He is extremely determine to make this happen and honestly does not stop until he gets it. For example, when his death comes, we still see him preaching. (p.482) The kind of ignorance and desire to get whatever it is that he wants is very much alike the United States expansion desires. History has shown that when the U.S wants something, they take it. This concept is present in the book too. We see people coming and taking diamonds, Axelroot, and trying to overrun local authority in order to gain control. Nathans action directly corresponds with this kind of ideas. Nathan has really no remorse or cares for what people have to say. Even after being outvoted by the Congolese people, he sticks around and still does whatever it is he can to convert people. (p. 332) This idea of westernization is one of Nathan’s most important functions. The author portrays him in a way that shows how desperate people can get in order to get what they want. His arrogance shows him to be a...
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