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