The Poisonwood Bible Questions and Answers
by Barbara Kingsolver

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What is the author's style in The Poisonwood Bible? Can you give examples of that style?

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Kingsolver uses first-person narratives to provide different accounts of the events in the novel. Each narrator brings his or her own perspective to the telling of the story, creating the need for the reader to piece together the reality of what happened. For example, Orleanna Price, writing many years after the events occurred, states in her first narrative, "Be careful. Later on you'll have to decide what sympathy they deserve" (page 5), speaking about her family. The reader is alerted to the reality that there are multiple ways to interpret the actions of Orleanna Price and her family in the Congo. 

Later, Ruth May, the youngest daughter, provides the experiences and insights of a young child experiencing a new culture for the first time. She says, for example, "In Sunday school Rex Minton said we better not go to the Congo on account of the cannibal natives would boil us in a pot and eat us up" (page 21). Her perspective allows the reader to understand the unadulterated biases of a...

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