How does Turtle impact Taylor and challenge her to become a good mother? How does she change and grow through this relationship?

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Turtle and Taylor have an unusual relationship in Barbara Kingsolver's novel The Bean Trees. Taylor is a free-spirited young woman who's off on a solo adventure. Turtle is the three-year-old that's handed, unexpectedly, to Taylor in a roadside restaurant. For Taylor, the restaurant was just a quick stop, a place to have something to eat, in a town where she knows no one.

How does Turtle impact Taylor and how does Taylor grow though their relationship? Let's go over a few main points.

Turtle compels Taylor to become a mother.

Taylor didn't choose to be a mother. It's only because Turtle has been forced onto her, and she doesn't know what to do, that Taylor becomes a caretaker for the child. Turtle's real mother has abandoned her, and Taylor feels obliged to step in, even though she doesn't know anything about taking care of a child. Here, Taylor first feels the attachment to Turtle:

The most amazing thing was the way that child held on. From the first moment I picked it up out of its nest of...

(The entire section contains 649 words.)

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