Poisonwood Bible Character Analysis

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The Poisonwood Bible Character Analysis Barbara Kingsolver develops Leah as a character by following her from the naive teenager she was to the mother of four, married to an African man and still living in Africa. At first, like the rest of the Price family, Leah was hesitant to associate with the Congolese. By the end of the novel, she was assimilated into the African culture and became one of the people. Of all of the characters in The Poisonwood Bible, Leah changed the most because of her stay in the Congo. As the time she spends in the Congo increases, Leah's faith in the Lord decreases. Through experiencing horrible things, she sees that she can no longer depend on only her faith to survive. She must obtain survival skills and learn how to live off of the land and the generosity of the people. This realization can be seen when Leah says that "if you look hard enough you can always see the reasons, but you'll go crazy if you think it's all punishment for your sins" (Kingsolver, 327). Leah's faith and belief in God lessens more and more as the story progresses, which shows a large change. In the beginning of the novel, Leah was extremely attached to her father. This feeling weakens to the point where it no longer exists over the years in the Congo. At first, she hangs onto Nathan's every word and takes it as law. Eventually, the tension she felt toward her father causes her to snap. From that point on, she is as distant from Nathan as the rest of the family and is more loyal to her mother and Anatole than anyone. Leah's feelings toward her father change completely from the beginning to the end of the novel. The change of Leah's loyalty to her mother to her father was shown after Ruth May was killed. She says "I'd walked [in the footsteps of my father] my whole life, and now without warning my body had fallen in line behind my mother" (Kingsolver,

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