Controversial Issues and Themes

Significance of a Name:
Names are a huge part of this book- which brings us to the question, Does a name define you or do you define your name?
Sabrina- I believe that you define your name. Several book examples to support my responce are:
  • Missy changing her previous feministic name to Taylor a more masculine name to define that she is more of a Tomboy with hopes of avoiding the destiny of females in her small town. Also I think that April being called Turtle even after her real name was found proves that she defines her name because April can not define her as a character.

The issue of Illgal Immigrants is brought up continually as Mattie runs a program to bring them into the country. Some characters are stronly against this, while others seem to support the idea. What are our feelings about this issue after reading the book?
Rose- Taylor says on page 261, "You know what really gets me? How people call you 'illegals.' That just pisses me off, I don't know how you can stand it. A human being can be good or bad, right or wrong, maybe. But how can you say a person is illegal?"
This quote made me re-think the current issues on immigration and how degrading it must make these people feel. Just as Taylor said they are not foriegn aliens, "illegals". People think that these immigrants are taking jobs, but I think in reality they are taking the jobs no one else is filling. Although illegal immigration can pose a problem, dehumanizing these people is not the solution.

I believe that if immigrants are trying to make a better life for themselves, then it is okay. If the immigrants come in to the country and steal to make a better life for themselves, then it is not okay. I believe that Estevan and Esperanza were trying to better their lives and were not hurting one in the country. Estevan even got a job, which shows that he was working hard to make a better life for him and his wife. ~ Kate

Destiny of Females:
The book primarly claims that a Females destiny is to become pregnant and stay in a "women/caretaker" role for the rest of their lives. Does Taylor escape this fate? Why and how?
Olivia ~ Taylor in away escapes this fate because she ends up not being pregnant.
She does fulfill the destiny of being the primary care giver for turtle but yet she does have a job and is not just the mother. Here in Arizone more is ecpected of her than just being a mother, unlike in Kentuky.
No, Taylor does not escape the fate of the role of a "caretaker". Although she was never pregnant, she still had to take on the responsibilities of a being a mother. Turtle needs a mother, and the only one there for her is Taylor. Even though it didn't come about the way Taylor had thought it would, she still must take care of a child that is her own, and learn how to take on the responsibilities of a mother. This becomes a journey for Taylor, and is something she must learn as she goes through the experiences of mothering. (Emily)

Independance of Women:
Every women in The Bean Trees is indepandant. What does this tell about females in general? What are they showing society?