Beantrees In A.P.A. Essay

This essay has a total of 2534 words and 11 pages.

Beantrees In A.P.A.

Running Head: THE BEAN TREES

The Bean Trees
Norma Hernandez
Texas Tech University
April 4, 2000

This book report deal with the Native American culture and how a girl named Taylor got
away from what was expected of her as a part of her rural town in Pittman, Kentucky. She
struggles along the way with her old beat up car and gets as far west as she can. Along
the way she take care of an abandoned child which she found in the backseat of her car and
decides to take care of her. She end up in a town outside Tucson and soon makes friends
which she will consider family in the end.

Historical Context
From as early as the time of the early European settlers, Native Americans have suffered
tremendously. Native Americans during the time of the early settlers where discriminated
against and still are today. At the arrival of the Europeans there was an estimated one
million to eighteen million Native Americans (meaning living above Mexico) in population.
There is also said there was about three hundred languages spoken at the time.
Anthropologists have tried to summarize "the cultural practices and reduce the cultural
complexity and they have come with twelve major cultural areas. But, material artifacts
and mode of subsistence give a geographical area rather than on social organization or a
people's way of life, including their family relationship." ( Mindel, 1998, p.382) The
similar family structures can be traced in almost every Native American family from their
basic family structure to marriage rituals. Europeans introduce disease to the Native
Americans. The introduction nearly killed the total population. Diseases like the small
pox, measles, chickenpox, influenza, and many other help to the extinction of almost half
of the languages known today. When Europeans settle in the Native American land the
quickly tried to acculturate them by taking their land, fighting them for land, and later
using reservations to almost incarcerate them for the outside world because the did not
want to live like the white man. Native Americans did not like the way they were being
treated. Every generation that passes, there would be fewer and fewer Native Americans
around the Americas. The Native Americans saw what the Europeans were doing to their land,
they wanted their old way of life, and they wanted the Europeans to leave.

The Europeans were relentless in their attempts to get rid of the Native Americas the
attitude of the Europeans was felt among the Native Americans. All the Europeans wanted
from the Native Americans were their land, their gold or their labor. Unfortunately for
the Native Americans, the Europeans succeeded in taking everything from the Native
Americans and in the end the Europeans did get it all.

Native Americans have been through a lot in America. They were the first ones here and
they still are here. But the problem is that Native Americans are still treated with
disrespect. There are still a lot of prejudice and racism against the Native Americans. I
believe that if a race could survive after all the wars and disease that the Native

Americans have been faced with, they should be respected.
Summary of Book
The dilemma brought forth to Marietta (Taylor) in the novel The Bean Trees by Barbara
Kingsolver, is that growing up in Pittman, a small rural town in Kentucky a town in which
pregnancy was common among the youth. It was also a town where not many people were
educated and not many would want to live. Marietta was one who did not want to be one of
the youth mentioned because she is much smarter and better than that. She then decides to
leave her hometown soon after high school in an old beat up 1955 Volkswagen ending up in
the outskirts of Tucson, Arizona. The plan did turn be as simple as it sounded. Along the
way she acquires an Indian child abandoned in the backseat of the car. But the trials and
obstacles along the way create an experience that far exceeds anything possible.

Rough times. Problems that arise cause a person to think that they are not capable of
overcoming the obstacles of life. Taylor leans that strength in a time of suffering is an
important part of surviving periods of hardship. The suffering is easier to deal with when
you have people around you that can relate to your troubles and help teach you how to
overcome them. Financial problems are faced by many people and everyone can relate to it.
Everybody has had those times where they need every penny that they have, except for those
luckily enough to be born into money. Taylor had to suffer threw the dilemma of being
broke, extremely broke. You can educate yourself by budgeting, but you can learn to adapt
to deal with the problems brought forth to you. Taylor did hotel cleaning, worked for her
friends, and worked a fast food place to have money for her and newly acquired child. She
wants to get as far as her car will take her, no matter how hard it is to continue she
will. Eventhough, Taylor was broke, it does not discourage her to get side tracked from
her plans to go to Oklahoma or in the end as far west the car will take her. Taylor also
learns has a lesson that most people do not have to learn until they are older. She learns
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