Bean Trees Essay, Research Paper
In the sequel, Pigs in Heaven, how does Kingsolver s solution to the problem of where Turtle belongs strike a balance among the needs of the child, Turtle; the needs of the adoptive mother, Taylor; and the needs of the tribe as represented by Annawake?
Barbara Kingsolver s Pigs in Heaven is not only well-written, but ends well also. The struggle Taylor deals with to keep custody of Turtle is the main theme of the novel. Taylor is battling to keep her daughter against Annawake Fourkiller, an attorney who specializes in the placement of Indian children. Annawake s primary goal is to place Turtle in an environment where she has strong Indian cultural influence, she wants Turtle to know her background. Taylor s mother, Alice, incidently discovers Turtle s natural grandfather, Cash, who wants the daughter of his dead daughter to be returned to him.
This is how the judge s decision to award joint custody to both Taylor and Cash is satisfying to all. Taylor just wanted to be with her daughter; she and Turtle need each other. It is important for Turtle to stay with Taylor because Taylor is the only mother she has ever known. Taylor has already been a role model for Turtle, as well as Turtle s family , such as Lou Ann and Jax. Taylor provided a father figure, and aunt and a grandma for Turtle. Turtle shows her love for Taylor in the simplest way – she won t part with Taylor when she is scared. Clutching Taylor brings her security and protection, something her past has deprived her of.
In a similar way Turtle brings security to Taylor. A large part of what Taylor has become revolves around Turtle. Taylor has become a mother, a good mother, and that takes precedence above all else, proving that she can care for Turtle better than anyone else. Without Turtle she would feel as though she failed, mothering a child often becomes the only goal in a mother s life, and it never quite ends, as Taylor and Alice s relationship shows us. Turtle makes Taylor feel whole, and without her she would be a shell of who she is.
Annawake s need is centered around Turtle, although originates from Annawake s childhood. Her goal is to stop the removal of Indian children from their families for the child s sake, just as her brother should not have been taken away when she was young. Her brother s removal is the fuel that drives Annawake to continue to fight for the rights of the Indian culture. After some time she realizes that Taylor is the best mother for Turtle, however Cash can provide cultural influence. Annawake grows a little in that she realizes that her wishes aren t always the best solution. Her proposal for the joint custody of Turtle was the key action to the end of the novel.
Turtle has the ability to fulfill the needs of many, the question is whether or not the favor is returned, and clearly it will be. Kingsolver s sequel to The Beantrees is very fulfilling in that it presents the possibility of Turtle being parted from Taylor, a couple we know are meant to be together, and everyone is satisfied in the end, just as we hoped.