How is the relationships and fostering of friendships with Lou Ann important to Taylor? How does she change and grow through this relationship ?

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The relationship between Taylor and Lou Ann is very important to the plot of The Bean Trees (1988), Barbara Kingsolver's first novel. Let's go over a few of the main ways that this friendship is crucial for Taylor, the protagonist, before discussing the ways that she changes between the moment she meets Lou Ann and the point where the narrative ends. 

First: Taylor is alone and faced with a major challenge at the beginning of the book, and Lou Ann offers her support and companionship. At the start of the story, Taylor leaves her mother and her home in Kentucky to head off on an adventure. She's immediately faced with a challenge when she stops to eat at a roadside restaurant in Oklahoma and a stranger pushes a baby into her arms. Taylor doesn't know what to do. She decides to care for the baby, but she's alone and doesn't know anyone in town. Until, that is, she meets Lou Ann, a local young woman who posted an ad in the local paper in search of a housemate to share expenses. Lou Ann...

(The entire section contains 564 words.)

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