The Bean Trees and East of Eden: Writing Techniques and Themes

Topics: The Bean Trees, Fiction, Literature Pages: 3 (1093 words) Published: October 13, 2013

Compare and Contrast Essay
Authors possess many different techniques when writing their novels. The Bean Trees and East of Eden are examples of two similar, but contrasting books. One focuses on find oneself through motherhood, while the other literary work is centered around good and evil. Both Kingsolver and Steinbeck’s novels acknowledge the battle between finding oneself, but include different writing techniques, tones, and diction. Both novels revolve around self-identity, use different tones, and control different techniques and writing styles.

In The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver writes about Taylor, a girl trying to find herself in this big world. She leaves home, starting a new life with a new name and identity. As she ventures out to find an accepting community, she comes to an understanding of what love really is. Both Taylor and Turtle, you ‘daughter’ want to forget about their past and start a new beginning. As Taylor realizes that being a mother is harder than she realized, she is uncertain whether or not she wants to keep Turtle. “‘Will you look at that,’ I said. It was another miracle” (Kingsolver), here, Taylor is agreeing with Turtle about a bean tree growing. The significance of this quote is that miracles are happening in Taylor’s life. Turtle symbolizes the bean tree growing in an ugly park, just like Turtle was received in an ugly parking lot. At first, the plant looks unfit for the park, making it gloomy, just like Turtle had burdened Taylor’s life, but as Taylor sees the bean tree as a miracle, later, she sees Turtle as an important asset in her life. So, as Taylor becomes open to the idea of keeping Turtle, she gains self-identity.

The ongoing conflict between good and evil in Steinbeck’s East of Eden novel is very apparent. Between brothers, there is a balance between good and evil controlling and influencing their lives. Aron and Caleb, two brothers, find themselves battling against their predestination. Caleb, a cruel, sneaky...
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