Read all parts of your assignment carefully and record your
responses in the appropriate places.
Barbara Kingsolver, like any good writer, is able to entertain
readers with her storytelling skills. However, she wants to do
more than this; she wants to influence her readers' understanding
of, and attitudes toward, important issues—social, environmental,
political. While many readers admire Kingsolver's ability to
enlighten without lecturing or sounding didactic, others have
accused her of oversimplifying reality somewhat, being one-
sided, and providing what amounts to stereotyped portrayals of
some social, ethnic, cultural, and religious groups. This, say her
critics, is true even when she is clearly sympathetic to these
groups and trying to portray them positively.
Imagine that you're a member of a group with an investment in
the way the group has been portrayed in
The Bean Trees
yet, maybe you truly belong to such a group. Perhaps you're
offended by the depiction in the novel, or perhaps you're pleased
by it. Either way, you've obtained Kingsolver's e-mail address and
you've decided to write her a message expressing your feelings.