The Bean Trees

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There were many sacrificial elements that existed in The Bean Trees. Sacrifices that the characters in the novel made for the benefit of others or themselves. These sacrifices played a role almost as significant as some of the characters in the book. Some prime examples of these sacrifices are Mattie's will to offer sanction to illegal immigrants, the fact that Taylor sacrificed the whole success of her excursion by taking along an unwanted, abused Native-American infant, and Estevan and Esperanza's decision to leave behind their daughter for the lives of seventeen other teacher union members.

Mattie sacrifices her business, her reputation, and her life to help out illegal aliens that are running, for one reason or another, from their original country. Most of these aliens are searching for a better life in America. Mattie assists them by providing them with housing, food, and medical attention whenever needed. She knows the consequences involved, and yet she perseveringly volunteers to give these people sanction. "There was another whole set of people who spoke Spanish and lived with her for various lengths of

time. I asked her about them once, and she asked me something like had I ever heard of a sanctuary."(Kingsolver 105) It's amazing how Mattie's morals and beliefs make her sacrifice her everyday life for the benefit of people whom she had never met before.

Taylor Greer had been running away from premature pregnancy her entire life. Afraid that she would wind up just another hick in Pittman County, she left town and searched for a new life out West. On her way getting there, she acquires Turtle, an abandoned three-year-old Native American girl. Taylor knows that keeping Turtle is a major responsibility, being that she was abandoned and abused. Yet, Taylor knows that she is the best option that Turtle has, as far as parental figures go. "Then you are not the parent or guardian?'…. ‘Look,' I said. ‘I'm not her real...
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