Pigs in Heaven Essay

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Cherokee, Muscogee Pages: 3 (990 words) Published: January 21, 2010
A Family Of Two Worlds
When one is raised in a single family, life appears simple. The person has developed an attachment to their parents. He or she is also familiar with one particular society, and the norms of that society are established in their mindset. However, when a second family from an entirely different culture enters the picture, the simple life becomes more complicated. The cultures of the two families are so different that they clash with one another, leaving the one person between it all. It is a dilemma that a six-year-old girl named Turtle Greer must experience in the novel, Pigs In Heaven, by Barbara Kingsolver. Turtle is a young girl who was adopted by a loving mother named Taylor Greer. The two had lived together since Taylor was given Turtle by a woman in a bar, and they have grown a fond mother-daughter relationship with each other. However, since Turtle is Cherokee, the adoption is brought to the attention of the Cherokee Nation, and they claim that the adoption is invalid. They say that Cherokee children must stay within the tribe, that they must be given to a close relative if the biological parents are unable to care for them. The conflict heats up as Taylor tries to defend her right to be Turtle’s guardian and Nation lawyers search for relatives of Turtle. The solution that would seem right for this situation is that if Taylor shares custody over Turtle with Turtle’s blood relatives.

If Turtle’s custody were to be split between Taylor and the Cherokee people, Turtle is likely to face some challenges. The first issue regards Turtle and her belonging to white society, where her adoptive mother comes from. Because she will be surrounded mostly by white people on a day-to-day basis, she will be subjected to bullying or racism. Children at her school will either call her “…ugly names connected with her racial identity” (Kingsolver 148) or isolate her from their groups, giving her a sense of inferiority and lack of...

Cited: Adamec, Christine. Transracial Adoptions. Family Education. 2nd Edition. Pearson Education, Inc. n.d. Web. 14 November 2009. .
Kingsolver, Barbara. Pigs In Heaven. New York: HarperPerennial, 1994. Print.
Tsai, Michelle. Cherokee Perks: What’s So Good About Being A Native American?. Slate. 1st Edition. Washington Post Newsweek Interactive Co. 5 March 2007. Web. 15 November 2009. .
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