Poisonwood Bible Leah Analysis

Michael Maidman
Ms. Farrow
AP Literature
6 August 2011
The Poisonwood Bible Essay

Throughout The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver develops the Price family as the Congo constantly forces them to change what they believe to be true. As the absence of western culture comes into effect, the Price girls must adapt to their new life. All of the family members are changed by their African mission, but the change is most clearly and most extreme in the case of Leah. Over the course of the novel, Leah goes from the Preacher’s daughter, who planned on following in his footsteps, to the wife of a Congolese rebel who openly questions her former American ideals. Although her beliefs change dramatically, Leah’s basic characteristics remain  
At the beginning of the novel, Leah had yearned for the attention and approval of her father, who much preferred to give it to the Lord’s work. “I know he must find me tiresome, yet still I like spending time with my father very much more than I like doing anything else.” (36). Leah reveres her father’s persistence during the early stages of there stay in Africa; she sees her father’s undying will and determination as a gift from God to help cleanse the natives, “This is what I most admire about Father: no matter how bad things might get, he eventually will find the grace to compose himself. Some people find him overly stern and frightening, but that is only because he was gifted with such keen judgment and purity of heart. He has been singled out for a life of trial, as Jesus was. Being always the first to spot flaws and transgressions, it falls upon Father to deliver penance. Yet he is always ready to acknowledge the potential salvation that resides in a sinner's heart.” (41-42). Even as Nathan’s first attempt to purify the new land, his demonstration garden, literally withers in front of everyone’s eyes, her devotion to her Father does not falter in the slightest. Instead, she takes the lesson as He instructs her...