Breaking the China Plate Passage

Topics: English-language films, Theme, Barbara Kingsolver Pages: 2 (686 words) Published: February 16, 2011
Matt Meade
Mrs. McKinzie-Period 2
Poisonwood Passage Essay Final Draft
12-11-10
Breaking the China Plate Passage

In Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver, there are many clear and obvious themes in the story. There are many passages in the story that convey different themes and messages to the reader. The broken china passage shows a clear theme that can be related to the entire novel. That theme is that when relationships are beginning to be broken, it can be almost impossible to fix them. Relationships were one of the biggest thematic concepts in the novel. Almost every character in the book experienced a special kind of relationship with someone else; some were good relationships and some were bad. Orleanna and Nathan had a great relationship at home, but as soon as they came to the Congo, that relationship began to go downhill, and this passage seems to be the proof that their relationship is completely broken. In the passage, the china plate is a symbol for Orleanna and Nathan’s relationship. Orleanna was too “fond” of that plate, which shows how much she cared for her and her husband’s marriage. She wanted it to work out but the way Nathan was being, it was nearly impossible. When Nathan breaks that plate, their relationship is over the table, which is the official end of a great relationship. That plate stood for something more than a nice, decorative china piece. It stood for the great relationship Orleanna and Nathan once had. Once that plate begins to be tossed around and not cared for by Nathan, that is when you get the first sense of a relationship beginning to be destroyed. “The smaller half flipped upside down as it broke, and lay there dribbling black plantain juice like blood onto the tablecloth. Mother stood helplessly, holding her hand out to the plate like she wished she could mend its hurt feelings.” These two sentences are really important in proving my theme. When this tablecloth gets stained with this “juice like blood”, it shows...
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