In the quote "He told me that the national symbol of the Indian people in Guatemala was the quetzal, a beautiful green bird with a long, long tail. I told him I had seen military macaws at the zoo, and wondered if the quetzal was anything like those. He said no. If you tried to keep this bird in a cage, it died." Indicate what the novel gains from this image—that is, explain how the image relates to the larger themes running throughout the work, thereby enriching the experience offered readers.

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The idea in the given quotation is that freedom and independence are essential to the lives of the Indian people. This is why the quetzal is the national symbol of the Indian people in Guatemala.

The protagonist of The Bean Trees is Taylor Greer, who leaves her family home in Kentucky and heads west to find adventure, freedom and independence. In relation to the quotation, Taylor begins the novel as the macaw bird and then becomes a quetzal. In other words, she begins the novel in a small town in Kentucky, metaphorically caged (like the macaw birds at the zoo) by the limited prospects there, and she becomes free and independent like the quetzal bird. Taylor leaves her hometown because she is afraid that her spirit, and her independence, will die if she stays. She fears dying in her own cage, just like the quetzal.

The idea...

(The entire section contains 422 words.)

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