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Posienwood Bible

By | December 2005
Page 1 of 5
"Guilty or innocent, they have everything to lose. They are what there is to lose. A woman is the earth itself, changing hands, bearings scars" (Kingsolver, Poisonwood 108). This belief in women at the core of humanity lends itself to the strength of the female characters in The Poisonwood Bible and Pigs in Heaven and their ability to remain strong and honorable under oppressive male forces. Not only do these women bear the scars given to them by men, but through this oppression they are able to rise up and show their full potential. Barbara Kingsolver utilizes the stark contrast between different cultures in The Poisonwood Bible and Pigs in Heaven to exemplify female strength in a male-dominated world through Orleanna Price, Leah Price, and Taylor Greer, resulting in their eventual self-discovery. Orleanna Price's dramatic move to an African village emphasizes her strength against the male forces that try to oppress her will and silence her voice. Leah Price, Orleanna's daughter, faces the same forced cultural assimilation while trying to assert herself as a powerful person, rather than the subservient female that both her native and the African cultures intend her to be. Taylor Greer's life becomes suddenly entangled with the Cherokee Nation as she struggles to prove herself as a strong female capable of raising her daughter without the help of a man. The Poisonwood Bible and Pigs in Heaven, as well as Kingsolver's other works, are a culmination of her own experiences and her passion for political activism.

Barbara Kingsolver draws on her experiences and the issues she feels passionately about to create her literary works. According to the Book Reporter Website, she grew up in the southwest, primarily in Kentucky, and this lifestyle is infused in much of her writing, including Pigs in Heaven. While in college, she participated in anti-Vietnam protests and immersed herself in social activism projects. She studied other writers who have used fiction to promote...

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