Poisonwood Bible Essay


As it is said, every human being has something inside him or her that compels him or her to perform the desires of his or her heart. This could be political, social, religious or even moral desires. However, not all accomplish their wishes and desires as seen in the Kingslover’s novel The Poisonwood Bible. In the novel, Kingsolver portrays the Price family as well as the political narrative of the U.S during their intervention in the in Congo. This essay focuses on Nathan Price, one of the characters, whom in his quest to establish an immersed Baptist church in in the tiny village of Kilanga in Congo, moves with his family of his wife and their three daughters from their comfort home town on Bethlehem in Georgia this this remote village in Congo.

Nathan being driven by his sole aim of succeeding his predecessor, Brother Fowles, he goes out under the umbrella of League of the Southern Baptist Mission. This was contrary to the advices of people who had a chance of sharing with him because Fowles had initially failed in satisfying the desires of the natives in Congo. He preaches for the salvation of the unsaved and condemnation of those who are against the superiority of Christianity. He does this as a way of appreciating God for protecting him and saving him from the fate that saw his colleagues lose their lives in the fatal Bataan Death March. His unwavering confidence in God makes him believe that he is meant to serve Him through mission work .While in Congo, Nathan Price is so obstinate that he never minded of learning the Kikongo language which was the only language understood by the natives. The result was that he ended up making several mistakes in his speeches. Not knowing that many words stood for various meanings, he kept referring Jesus as poison rather precious; hence undoing all that was good for him to accomplish his mission.

The author uses a technique that is unique to narrate his story. For instance, the mother and daughters are assigned distinct voices thus making the story effective. However, Nathan is not assigned any voice unless the exceptions of being quoted by his wife or daughters. This does not imply that he was not developed as some may put it.

Though Nathan sees himself as a coward, he is nevertheless an abusive Baptist minister who stood by his moral code. He had escaped death when he was a soldier in the Second World War. Perhaps this could be the reason behind him that had made him refer himself as a coward and despised by God. At the long run, Nathan vows never to leave any hazardous situation behind him and this is probably the reason that propelled him not to listen to the natives but to win as many souls as possible for his God. He therefore devoted hi life to serving God by attempting to establish a totally immersed church in Congo. He was dedicated to his life and God not putting into consideration the affairs of the people he led. His cowardice drove him to assuming a rigid but simple moral code. He was not in position of accepting the reality of life that was all in a mess and full of injustices. His believe was that God was there to punish the wrong doers while rewarding those who did well.

He was highly character of high level of male chauvinist that he never believed in mind that he was the only man who would assume leadership over the natives. He rather kept dismissing the intelligence of the females, specifically his wife and daughters. The fact that he was convinced that God was watching all that were not devoted to serving Him, he often turned his anger to his wife and daughters with claims that they were the only physical obstacles on his way that brought him lapses in his urge and will of ascending to power. Furthermore, he reached extend of threatening their precious lives as well. This is and indication that he was taking a revenge against those whom he thought they were making him not achieve his will.

In conclusion, we see Nathan as a shear force that accomplishes many things but they were contrary to his expectations and being a person who leads his entire family to trouble. However, his urge for leadership is quit consuming as much motivating. This is because whenever he failed in attempting to reach the Africans, in this case, in Congo, he was quite convinced that he had truly failed in his test for the righteous people. Their seventeen months of stay in Kilanga village ware here marked by a continuous series of troubles. In fact the situation does not get better. Nathan and his family had no option other than vacating the country. Bitterly one of their daughters was unable to make it. Nathans mission was not accomplished at the end. The only thing that was a profound shock was his daughters impossibility of returning to their native home with them.