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.