Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Symbolism: Parrot, Snake, & Tree
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Author:  Ricky Ward [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Symbolism: Parrot, Snake, & Tree

I felt that "Poisonwood Bible" had all kinds of symbolism in it. Did anyone pick up on any of these in their reading? For example, I felt like the snack represented "fear". I think it was fear of the Congo itself or of the non-Western World. I also felt that the parrot Methuselah represented the Congo, and how it was not able to have freedom. Even when it did gain its freedom it was afraid to be on its own, and it was eventually killed. Just like the Congo was not allowed to remain on its own and the Western World killed its chance at being free at last. Another think I found interesting was the poisonwood tree. I found it interesting that the word "bangala" meant dearly beloved, but if said fast could bean poisonwood tree. Nathan went around calling Jesus a poisonwood tree because he did not take enough time to learn the language and culture enough to realize what he was saying. I bet the native really wanted to worship a god that was like a poisonwood tree. I sure that these things have other meaning. I was curious as to what other things these things could symbolize, and are there others things in the book that could have stood for something?[/i]

Author:  Amy French [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

I agree with you, Ricky. I think it would have been interesting to discuss all of Kingsolver's allusions to Biblical phenomena, such as the locusts and the fire ants, the Price's exodus out of Kilanga, etc. There were SO many symbolic things and events in this book!

Author:  Ashley Tyndall [ Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ricky, I also thought about these things as I was reading. It would have been interesting to have had a class discussion on the symbols in the Poisonwood Bible. I think it would have helped us grasp a better understanding of how truth is viewed by both Nathan and the Congolese. I enjoy looking at the symbolism in different novels, especially when they are obvious as to what they are, but there is always a little more depth than what is on the surface.

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