Bean Trees By Kingsolver In “The Bean Trees,” by Barbara Kingsolver, readers are given the chance to see how two characters that have completely different lifestyles come together and deal with everyday problems, family relationships, and motherhood. Lou Ann chose a lifestyle that would cause her to get married, have a baby and move away right after high school. On the other hand Taylor did everything in her power not to end up living that lifestyle, and I think it resulted in Taylor being a more dependent and strong person than Lou Ann. A good example of how different their characters are is how they deal with everyday problems. For example, the way they go about trying to find a job clearly shows that Taylor is optimistic and Lou Ann is pessimistic. “Really, Ma’am I could understand why you wouldn’t want to hire a dumb old thing such as myself P.144” This is something that Taylor imagines Lou Ann saying when she is on a job search.
This statement clearly describes Lou Ann perfectly, she has no self-confidence she is pessimistic and doesn’t stick up for herself because her husband continuously verbally abused her, and treated her bad. Taylor on the other hand is very optimistic and self-confident when she is out job-hunting because she always had motivation and support from her mother. Eventually Taylor motivates Lou Ann to have self-confidence and try hard to get a job and she notices differences in her character “I was liking Lou Ann a great deal these days. In a few weeks since she started working she had begun to cut her hair far less often.. having a job seemed to even out some of Lou Ann’s wrinkled edges. Motivation and support played a big role in creating these characters personalities.
The reader really gets to see the difference in characters and also how combining the personalities changed their lifestyles. Family relationships played a big role in creating these characters. Lou Ann and Taylor both came from small cities in Kentucky but they were raised differently. Lou Ann moved to get married and raise a family but her mother disapproved for the wrong reasons, “she disliked him because he was Mexican P26” Taylor never wanted to live the lifestyle that Lou Ann had Taylor’s mom said “barefoot and pregnant was not my style. P3” Taylor’s mom supported Taylor’s decisions and gave her the opportunity to find independence.
Taylor has a really good relationship with her mother; the lines of communication and support are wide open. Lou Ann on the other hand doesn’t have good communication with her mother, she couldn’t even tell her mother and Grandmother she was getting a divorce. “Angel had agreed to move back in until after her mother and Grandmothers visit. P54” I think Taylor comes through for Lou Ann in this situation because Taylor played a mother like role towards Lou Ann. She gives her support she needs, consoles her, and is her friend.
These two women are both completely alone in an unfamiliar state and they both don’t have anyone but each other except Taylor still has her mother left to talk to. Motherhood is a big factor in differences in character. Taylor views motherhood along with marriage as a complete failure in life for example in the end of the book Taylor says to Turtle. That means your kid.. so you’ll always know who you are.
P232″ She’s finally seeing Turtle as her own daughter and not as an adopted child. Taylor also helps Lou Ann overcome something and that was her marriage she helps Lou Ann get over Angel and move on with her life. It was interesting to see how two completely different people come together and rebuild their lives together. They had many issues to overcome and it seemed that when they finally came together they resolved many things and they made their lives better.