The Poisonwood Bible Review In her novel The Poisonwood Bible,by Barbra Kingsolver describes how the Price’s travel from Bethlehem, Georgiato the village of Kilanga nearthe Kwilu River in Congo during the summer of 1959. Nathan Price, the father and a Baptist minister, drags his family deep into the heart of the Congo on a mission to save the unlighted souls of Kilanga.
The family arrives in the Congo on the evening of a blood ceremony where they sacrifice animals and the villagers start a large fire, and begin pounding on drums and sinning in their native tongue the villagers.In the Congo, the Price family faces the realization that everything from the plants they unsuccessfully try to grow to their scriptures which are not being accepted. The family struggles with how to grasp their new concept of life.
Along with the struggle of the family,Nathan’s arrogance and impatience keep him from ever properly learning the language. "Tata Jesus is Bangala," Nathan yells from his pulpit. Though his intention is to tell the African people, "Jesus is precious," his mispronunciation means "Jesus is poisonwood,"Poisonwood which is a tree that causes discomfort and itching.
His mistake makes the village people never fully accept the new faith for fear of being punishedif It is his mispronunciation that causes tragedy and forces his daughters to "bear the emptiness of a life without his God" once he is gone. The strength of this novel is the development of the characters and their relationships with each other and the people of the village. The novel proceeds through the narration of the five women in the novel. The different narrators add depth by allowing the reader to see each character’s struggle and development. Oreleanna Price, the wife of Nathan, is passive about her turn of events and everything her husband tells her.
While in the Congo, she desperately tries to keep her family safe. Oreleanna struggles with the hardship of everyday life. Rachel Price the fifteen-year-old daughter resents being torn from her fabulous American life. She is a whinygirl who cares only for looks. She misses her luxuries of clean water and a house where she doesn’t have to sleep on acot. Ruth May, is a five year old who loves to go on adventures; and who’s innocents is equal to the guilt of the others.
AS she enters the Congo without.