The Bean Trees

The nature and effect of a ruling passion in someone’s life can bring many positive outcomes. In the novel, The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver, Taylor has an overruling passion for raising Turtle into a respectable, polite human being. Taylor also has one main passion in her life, and that is getting away from the small town she grew up in, in Kentucky. She wants to make something out of herself, and she feels like leaving is the way to start that. Estevan and Esperanza had a passion of making other peoples lives better, no matter what it took. The fact that they all went to the adoption agency, telling them lies just to make Taylor’s life complete with Turtle being her daughter, shows that they have the passion for that. All of these passions that overrule their lives, have a definite positive outcome.


Taylor’s relationship with Turtle was strong, and mostly dealt with her passion on raising Turtle to not be who “Missy” was. Taylor wanted to forget her life as “Missy” and that is why she left Kentucky and changed her name to try and start over again. All Taylor wanted was to be a strong mother for Turtle. Taylor knew what it was like to be raised by a single mom who had very little to offer but a lot of love. She had to overcome the struggle of being a single mom herself, and having absolutely nothing, no home, no husband, no one to turn to if she needed a helping hand. “I suppose some of Lou Ann had rubbed off on me.” The help of Lou Ann, Es, and Es, and everyone else who was around her influenced the outcome of Turtle. Taylor knew that when Turtle had no personality that it was more of a challenge then she thought it would be, but her passion kept her motivated to make Turtle into the person she wanted her to become. When Turtle spoke her first word, it was obvious how much significance it had. “But neither of us could interpret the significance of Turtle’s first word.” It made Taylor realize that there was faith that Turtle would develop a personality. It was her passion that kept her motivated enough to not give up on Turtle.


Taylor’s one main passion presented throughout the novel was her passion to get away. She had planned her “get away” for a while. “But I had a plan, I had serious intentions.” Her mother had no influence on her getting away. Taylor loved her mom because she was so caring and loving of Taylor. “One is she always expected the best out of me. And the other is that no matter what I did, whatever I came home with, she acted like it was the moon I had just up in the sky and plugged in all the stars.” Her mother probably didn’t want Taylor to leave, but supported her through it all. Taylor knew what she wanted but had no specific direction. “When I drove over the Pittman line I made two promises to myself. One I kept, the other I did not. The first was that I would get myself a new name.” Her reasons to get away were basically to get away from the small town in Kentucky and make something out of her life. Her passion to get away took over, she didn’t care where she was going or what she was going to do but she needed to get away. The effect of this passion overruling her was the best thing that had ever happened to her. Her daughter Turtle.


Estevan and Esperanza had a overrule passion of making peoples lives better then they already were. The fact that they went through all that trouble just for Taylor and Turtle was an incredible risk. They could have been in a lot of trouble doing such an illegal thing, but they wanted to help out Taylor. “Esperanza and Estevan didn’t want to think about it. They told me, then and there, they wanted to do it.” It shows how badly they cared for the happiness of Turtle and Taylor. Their passion for Taylor and Turtle shows when they don’t even think