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Barbara Kingsolver’s "Pigs in Heaven"

Uploaded by london28 on Dec 11, 2004

In Barbara Kingsolver’s “Pigs in Heaven” readers are introduced to a variety of people who all have their own meaning of family. “All families are weird” (325;ch. 32) Andy Rainbelt’s quote give the ideal definition of family for this book. Every character in the novel each has their own definition of family, but it is through their displayed relationships with each other that we obtain our own perception of family using the novel. The main characters express such strong views about family that it is critical to the plot. For example, if Annawake Fourkiller were not concerned with the tribe being considered her family; she never would have bothered reuniting Turtle with the Cherokee nation. And if that didn’t occur, the rest of the novel never would have existed. The definition of family is not just important to the plot, but it is necessary in understanding the motives behind each character.

Take Alice for instance, her love for her husband Harland has disappeared during those long lonely nights he ignored her. “She married him two years ago for love, or so she thought, and he’s a good enough man but a devotee of household silence. His Idea of marriage is to spray WD-40 on anything that squeaks.”(3; ch.1) Harland is a pretty boring guy, and Alice’s independent feature makes her realize that she does not need a man who is constantly glued to his TV. Her independence about not needing a man has not only passed onto her daughter, but it also forced her to leave Harland. Right now Alice’s definition of family does not include anyone else but herself; so she left Harland to be with the only other family she feels she has, Taylor and Turtle.

Fortunately for Alice she found a place to go and get away from Harland. Taylor mutually benefited from this by finding somewhere to run away from Annawake for a little while. Taylor and Alice both have this independent feature that does not let them get too attached to the men they are with. By having the feeling of never needing a man around, Taylor and Alice have had problems adjusting into a family. One example of how Taylor’s independence affected her family was by running away from Annawake. Taylor should have at least told Jax she...

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Uploaded by:   london28

Date:   12/11/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   10 pages (2,291 words)

Views:   8615

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