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Free Study Guide-The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver-Free Book Notes
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POINT OF VIEW

Being told in first person by Taylor Greer, the novel obviously comes from a female point of view. This point of view, however, goes beyond narration. There are virtually no "good" men in this novel. From page one, Newt Hardbine and his father are depicted as scrubby riffraff; Marietta’s mother describes Marietta’s father as "no one Missy knew" and "long gone". Next, Angel Ruiz is characterized as inconsiderate and ignorant, even by his own mother. The men at the bar in Oklahoma where Taylor gets Turtle are described as scary. Only female characters are attributed with positive personality traits.


It may be argued that Estevan is indeed a good man, and he is, as far as his character goes. However, his character can accurately be interpreted as a woman’s ideas and feelings in a man’s body. His occupations are teaching and washing dishes. He does not make the slightest sexual advance toward Taylor who puts herself in a receptive position more than once. He uses "having another baby" to illustrate happiness for himself and Esperanza. He exhibits no stereotypically male behaviors. He is not masculine in terms of being the strong one. It is the women who are the heroes in this novel. The point of view is entirely feminine.

 

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