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Survival in The Bean Trees Essay

Assignment id 1003541
Discipline Other
Assignment type Essay
Words 1578
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Survival at The Bean Trees In 1859, Charles Darwin published his most famous work, On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection (Encarta 96). This book clarified Darwin's concept of natural selection, a process not unlike dividing the wheat from the chaff, in which the least fit are eliminated, and only the fittest survive. An extension of this theory known as Social Darwinism emerged from the late 19th century. "Social Darwinists believed that individuals, like animals and plants, compete for survival and also, by extension, success in life" (Encarta 96). Under this theory, the individuals who get the power and wealth are deemed the fittest, while people of lower economic and social levels are regarded as the least match (Griffin Lecture). This appears to be a concept that Barbara Kingsolver sets out to disprove within her novel The Bean Trees. In a review in The Women's Review of Books, Margaret Randall finds this is a book not about "middle-class America, however real middle America, the unemployed and underemployed, the people working fast-food joints or even draining tires, Oklahoma Indians, young moms left by wandering husbands or mothers who never had husbands" (Randall 1). Ultimately, it's about survivors - women such as Taylor Greer who sets out from Kentucky to obtain a better life and finds responsibility for another life; Mattie whose survival is wrapped up in her role as savior to all in need who enter Jesus Is Lord Used Tires; Lou Ann Ruiz who's afraid of life and in need of finding her strength; and Esperanza whose child was taken from her in a political struggle and who needs to find the will to live - who pool their resources, both financial and emotional. These women have courage, humor and each other, resou...

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