Taylor's Perseverance in the Bean Trees by Barbara Kingslover

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Have you ever seen someone under terrible circumstances continue to keep going and try as hard as they can, no matter what? This is always a wonder to behold, but how did this person get to be so perseverant? Chances are they have someone that helped them become this way, whether they did that in a positive way or a negative way. In The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver we see Taylor Greer continue to get back up over and over again, thanks to the many people that she met.

Taylor’s mother help Taylor persevere through hardships tremendously. For instance, from a young age Taylor’s mother encouraged her to be independent and perseverant. She didn’t want her to rely on anyone for something that she could earn herself, “Mama always said barefoot and pregnant wasn’t my style”(4). Next, Missy just went through a very traumatising event at the hospital, so Mama does the best thing that she can do. She comforts Taylor by telling her that she has never seen anyone handle situations as good as her, teaching her that she can handle anything that life throws at her, “‘Missy, I have never seen the likes of you”’ (13). Finally, when a man pokes fun at Taylor for not having much money, “‘You thibeing busted is a joke””(21). Mama raised Taylor to be independent, so when a man starts making fun of her, she retaliates, showing that she won’t let anyone knock her down. Mama’s help and support through her childhood helped Taylor grow into the independent woman that she is.

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The supporting characters that Taylor met gave her the help to overcome her biggest problems. After Turtle is assaulted in a park a social worker, “...informed me.. That I had no legal claim to Turtle”(233). Taylor was devastated, but she didn’t lose hope. Her mother had raised her in a way to never give up easily. So late one night, “... I asked Esperanza and Esteban if they would be willing to to one more thing with me”(283). She asked them if they would pose as her parents, so that she could legally adopt Turtle. With their help, she was successful, “... Turtle was going to be better off with me”(290). They were able to help her solve one of the biggest problems in Taylor’s life, and make Turtle’s life better. Taylor’s extreme perseverance combined with her friends help allowed her to overcome any obstacle.

Taylor did not have an easy life, yet she never gave up. With all of the support from her Mama and the friends she met on her journey, she was able to succeed. This was only possible because she listened to her friends and family, accepting their help. The next time you are having trouble, remember to listen to anyone that tries to help you, they might just help you a lot. 

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