Two of the greatest influences in The Bean Trees are the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the geographical trek that the Cherokee Nation was forced to travel when it was moved to the Oklahoma territory from the southeastern United States, and the Sanctuary movement, designed to help Central Americans flee oppressive governmental regimes and relocate — usually secretly and illegally — in the United States. These two influences serve as the background to Kingsolver's The Bean Trees. The Cherokee Trail of Tears informs Taylor and Turtle's journey from Oklahoma to Arizona in the novel, and many of the novel's characters apparently are members of the Sanctuary movement.The Cherokee Trail of TearsBy the end of the eighteenth century, the Cherokee Nation had settled on land guaranteed to it in a 1791 treaty with the United States. The land was located in northwest Georgia, eastern Tennessee,
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