Passage Explication

Satisfactory Essays
Tristen Beck
EWU English 170
September 2, 2014
The Poisonwood Bible Passage Explication
Page 98, Paragraph 1 Passage: “He noticed the children less and less. He was hardly a father except in the vocational sense, as a potter with clay to be molded. Their individual laughter he couldn’t recognize, now their anguish. He never saw how Adah chose her own exile; how Rachel was dying for the normal life of slumber parties and record albums she was missing. And poor Leah. Leah followed him like an underpaid waitress hoping for the tip. It broke my heart. I sent her away from him on every pretense I knew. It did no good.” Orleanna expresses how Nathan’s work with the Congo has clearly taken over his role as a father, and even though she does not mention it, a husband as well. It is interesting, after hearing what each of these girls (Rachel, Leah, Adah, Ruth May) express in their own chapters, what their mother picks up on. Nathan is clearly classified as a self-centered, stubborn, inconsiderate man. Although he was probably not the best father before they all travel into Africa for his mission, he got worse as he doesn’t even recognize them anymore. He considers Leah more of an accomplice, rather than daughter, and cannot bring himself to demonstrate any emotion toward his family except anger. At this point, I don’t know why Orleanna has not picked up and left her husband yet; why should she remain loyal to him when he does not give an ounce back to his family, although the tribe will receive him whole heartedly? I also believe this passage shows a lot of how the Congo has torn their family apart. Although Nathan should take most of the blame for the problems that have risen, I believe that if they hadn’t traveled to the Congo, the troubles would not be as severe. Nathans work gets the best of him (and he is not that great at that either.)

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