Character Changes Throughout A Novel The Bean Trees English Literature Essay


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In all literary works there will appear characters or characters will be described. When reading a novel the characters usually have their own personality. This personality along with their character traits can change throughout the novel just like every human traits can change throughout their lifetime. The book "The Bean Trees" written by Barbara Kingsolver has perfect examples of how characters can change and why this change takes place. The character Lou-Ann Ruiz is one of the best examples. She undergoes drastic personal changes due to reasons beyond her control, and changes to improve her life and to be able to survive.

As the audience continues towards the middle of the book we see some change in Lou Ann's character. She is beginning to have more self-confidence and is forming her own opinions which she is now beginning to state aloud, but only to Taylor. Not only does she voices her opinions she argues for her opinion to be the right one unlike she was in the beginning of the book:

"So why are you taking his side?" Lou Ann wanted to know.

"I'm not taking his side. Whose side?"

"You are too. Or at least you're not taking mine. Whenever I complain about Angel you won't agree with me that he's a scum bucket…" (The Bean Trees, 128)

Lou Ann is starting to voice her opinions and is arguing so that she can be right. She is beginning to cease being a passive person and doing something about her opinions. However she is still stuck on Angel and Taylor knows this and wants her to know that even though she is changing she is still the same deep down inside:

"…You might think he's a scum bucket now, but sooner or later you might want him back [again]. And then you'd be too embarrassed to look me in the eye and admit you're still in love with this jerk whose anatomical parts we've been laughing about for the last two months." (The Bean Trees, 128)

Taylor is trying to prove to Lou Ann, who thinks she is a new and changed person, that deep down she is still the same and that if Angel wanted her to come back she would do what he wanted and go back into her passive self. When later in this section Angel writes a letter to Lou Ann that he wants her back Lou Ann actually considers going: "So what do you think Taylor? Do you think it [Angel's house] would have a floor, or plaster walls inside? "He actually misses me." … twisting the gold wedding band around her finger." (The Bean Trees, 157) Lou Ann is actually considering to go back to Angel after what he did to her. She is still attached to him and the wedding ring which she keeps around her finger is proof enough. If she really hated him and didn't want to see him again she would have thrown it out or sold it by now. However Lou Ann is not dependant anymore and has her own priorities to attend at her new job: ""But I've got responsibilities now," she argued… "At Red Hot Mama's [salsa factory]."" (The Bean Trees, 157) Lou Ann has stopped being dependant on others and found a job at a salsa factory where she begins to change even more. She stops worrying about being dependant on someone else and starts to depend upon herself.

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