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By Peter B. High

A survey of the English prose, poetry and drama of the us from Colonial occasions to the1980s.

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Once she realizes that the child has been abused, Taylor becomes more convinced that she really has no choice: “I thought I knew about every ugly thing that one person does to another, but I had never even thought about such things being done to a baby girl” (23). Finding “bruises and worse” on the child’s body, Taylor confronts the dark shadows of abuse that have tormented the child’s young life. Important to note, as well, is the fact that Kingsolver has chosen that the Native American child should be Cherokee.

Mattie turned over the ‘closed’ sign in the window and said ‘Come on. I want you to smell this’” (160). Hustling everyone to come along, Mattie brings Taylor, Lou Anne, Esperanza, and Estevan to witness the Indian New Year. Mattie explains to Taylor, “They celebrated it on whatever day the summer’s first rain fell” (161). Taylor’s small community is again drawn together by nature’s instigation. 5 Gathering up the children, Taylor and Lou Ann walk over to Virgie Mae and Edna’s to witness the amazingly rare natural occurrence.

As she strives “to construct a poetry for the modern human condition,” She often finds inspiration in the works of early American naturalist thinkers who sought this same balance. For example, reflecting on Thoreau’s musings in Walden, Kingsolver recognizes her own desires and experiences echoed in the Transcendentalist’s quest “to live deliberately” (“Making Peace” 23). Yet given the degree to which authors must deliberate over their choice of words in order to convey a certain meaning, this term is something of a con- Maureen Meharg Kentoff 49 tradiction within itself—especially as employed by Kingsolver.

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