Literary analysis of Bean Trees

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Immigration Most immigrants are viewed as invaders of the United States and immigration is not a well understood topic. Barbara Kingsolver’s novel, The Bean Trees, shows multiple perspectives of people who experience i mmigration. In the novel, immigration was a topic that was initially unknown by the protagonist, Taylor. As the story progresses, Taylor meets multiple people that are involved in the many facets of issues facing illegal immigrants. This pulls Taylor into another side of immigration and as readers follow, it makes them question if it is better to follow the law or do what is right . The Bean Trees suggests there is more than one side of the story to immigration and immigrants. Through the use of elements of fiction, Kingsolver suggests some immigration policies are unfair, immigration can cause people to live in fear and become socially reclusive, and that stereotypes are not always accurate.
Kingsolver’s novel depicts immigration policies as unfair matters that test the limits of legality and morality. These policies do not allow people to be themselves. In order to demonstrate this, Kingsolver integrates two supporting, dynamic characters: Estevan and Esperanza. These two illegal immigrants changed their names to Steven and Hope when they met two Americans that weren’t aware that they were illegal (104). This is a scene that shows trust from Estevan to Taylor, because they said their real names to her but not to the two others and the point where they all realize that if their identities are revealed they could be sent back. The author uses dialogue to explain why people do things and how some people are ignorant . Taylor, the protagonist , had a conversation with Estevan on why they came to America. He also shared some of the factors that made them leave like how “…police use electricity for interrogation...which is an actual telephone…” (134), and Taylor responds with,” Do you mean they question you over the telephone?”

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