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The Bean Trees Plot Diagram
Transcript of The Bean Trees Plot Diagram
Lou Ann Ruiz is married to Angel, who leaves her while she is pregnant
Marietta Greer is a Kentucky girl who doesn't want to be forced to settle down with a family
Marietta finds an old car, leaves Kentucky, and changes her name to Taylor
Taylor is given a Native American child who she names Turtle
Taylor's car breaks down in Tuscon, Arizona, where she meets Mattie at Jesus Is Lord Used Tires
Taylor moves in with Lou Ann and her baby, Dwayne Ray
Taylor gets a job at Jesus Is Lord Used Tires, despite being afraid of tires
Mattie helps Taylor to get over her fear of tires
Taylor is introduced to Guatemalan refugees Estevan and Esperanza
Turtle starts talking and coming out of her shell, so to speak
Taylor finds out that Turtle has suffered lasting damage from sexual abuse
Taylor and Lou Ann figure out that Turtle's real name is April
Taylor finds out that Esperanza has tried to commit suicide
Taylor finds out about Ismene, Estevan and Esperanza's daughter
Lou Ann gets a job and becomes more self-sufficient and confident
Turtle almost gets abducted
Taylor finds out that she might have to give up Turtle, as she is not the child's legal guardian
Taylor decides to drive Estevan and Esperanza to a sanctuary in Oklahoma, hoping to find Turtle's family
Turtle reveals that her mother is dead
With the help of Estevan and Esperanza, Taylor is able to legally adopt Turtle
Taylor drops off Estevan and Esperanza at the sanctuary
Taylor and Turtle drive back to Tuscon
When someone makes the decision to follow their ambitions, they must accept that they will be faced with many trials, the results of which are irreversible.
Shortly after leaving home, Taylor is given Turtle to take care of. As a result of this, Taylor has to face parenthood completely unprepared. She couldn't leave Turtle alone or with someone else because her kindness and morals would not allow her to. Even if she were to give up Turtle, she would likely spend the rest of her life feeling guilty. After taking care of Turtle for a long period of time, Taylor finds herself changed by the experience, now knowing what responsibility really means.
In order to leave the corrupt government of Guatemala, Estevan and Esperanza are forced to leave behind their only child. Even after escaping, they have to evade US immigration, as they are no legal citizens. Because they wanted to escape so badly, they had to pay a terrible price; both their daughter and hopes of freedom from the US government.
When responsibility is forced onto an individual, that person must choose whether of not they let that responsibility turn them into a better person.
Taylor's responsibility of taking care of Turtle resulted in her seeing the world from a new point of view. For example, Turtle pointed out to Taylor and Lou Ann how the wisteria vines were starting to seed, symbolizing how life can always come out of bad situations.
While Mattie was never forced into the responsibility of running a sanctuary, the hardships continually run her down throughout the length of the novel. The task of helping others find freedom does impact her character, as she is shown to be kind, but also firm. For example, rather than letting Taylor carry on afraid of tires, Mattie forces Taylor to get over her fear.