This novel is the story of the Price family and the time they spent in the Congo as missionaries.
Nathan was always successful in growing a spectacular garden in Georgia, but the same conditions did not apply in Africa.
Symbolically, he also fails in producing human fruit as a result of his mission. She at least succeeds in Angola, but she has to learn to grow her crops, both literally and symbolically, on African rather than American terms. Fish Nathan Price tries to be a fisher of men and at one point dynamites the river to create a huge meal for the people.
It is, however, more than they can manage and the result is failure and rot.
His mission has a similar end. Mirror Symbolic of vanity and of the preservation and discovery of self. The Africans were fascinated by the mirror and visited the Price home to see themselves in the mirror.
It was given a frame and set in a place where all could use it. It suggests an attempt to hang onto something from the past. Elections The people of Kilanga had a tradition of decision making based on unanimous agreement. The concept of rule by majority is foreign to them, but one they learn quickly how to use and how to turn against the white inventors of the system.
The votes on whether to accept Jesus and whether to let Leah hunt emphasize the incongruity in the forced application of one cultural tradition onto another.
Green mamba snake Although the snake is feared and ultimately causes the death of Ruth May, it is also symbolic of the spirit of the jungle. Baptism - Symbolic of conversion for Nathan Price He could not be satisfied with people merely attending his church but was intent on finding some way to baptize them, thereby symbolically admitting them into the Christian religion.
It was ironic that his first observation on the death of Ruth May was that she had not been baptized. He had been saving her baptism to use as an example on some occasion when he could talk the Africans into submitting to the ritual and had thereby neglected for his own daughter the thing that he considered the most important for his converts.
The word for poisonwood also means precious if said with a different tone. Nathan refers to Jesus as "balanga" but uses the wrong accent.
It's impossible to give the full meaning of this great book in this small space, so please go to the link below and get the full details. This novel is the story of the Price family and the time. Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the WordYou can't have a book without words (duh). You also can't have language (double duh). They're kind of the building blocks of the whole thing. Symbols Methuselah, the Parrot. The parrot left by Brother Fowles serves as a symbol for the doomed Republic of Congo. Methuselah is denied freedom for most of his life, and while he is kept in a cage and fed by his masters, he loses the ability to fend for himself.
Figuratively, he is creating his own religion; his bible is poison to the people on whom he is trying to force it. The ants The ants represent the power of the jungle and graphically illustrate the impotence of religious faith apart from an understanding of "the way things are.
Forgotten crumbs, spoiled food, mold or fungi that could bring disease-the ants remove all and give people a fresh start prior to the next rainy season.Symbols Methuselah, the Parrot. The parrot left by Brother Fowles serves as a symbol for the doomed Republic of Congo.
Methuselah is denied freedom for most of his life, and while he is kept in a cage and fed by his masters, he loses the ability to fend for himself. The Poisonwood Bible encourages us to think about how different words can mean different things—but that both meanings can be correct at the same time.
Think about Nathan Price's favorite phrase, "Tata Jesus is bangala!" (). Now, that phrase means two things: Father Jesus is precious and dear, and, Jesus is poisonwood. The timeline below shows where the symbol Methuselah appears in The Poisonwood Bible. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance. A summary of Themes in Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Poisonwood Bible and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Methuselah appears in The Poisonwood Bible. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
As befits such an important symbol, it resists easy interpretation (read full symbol analysis) Get the entire The Poisonwood Bible LitChart as a printable PDF.