Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver: Mini Analysis 2

“ That was the last I would ever hear from the man I’d married— one who could laugh (even about sleeping in a manger), call me his “honey lamb,” and trust in the miracle of good fortune. I can still picture the young soldier who wrote that letter while propped up in bed, smiling through his eyepatch and bandages, showing the nurses a photo of his pretty bride with Delta cotton poking out of her hair. Enjoying, as it turned out, the last happy hours of his life. He hadn’t yet learned what happened to the rest of his company. In a few days the news would begin to reach Corregidor. Through the tunnels of that island fortress came wind of a horror too great to speak aloud—a whispered litany that would take years to be fully disclosed to the world, and especially to me. It would permanently curl one soldier’s heart like a piece of hard shoe leather.” (Kingsolver 196)
In this passage, Kingsolver makes Orleanna Price describe how the war that  Nathan Price was drafted into, changed his personality in big ways. For example, he has become more aggressive but closer to God and his faith, in a sort of unhealthy way that starts to affect his family. Kingsolver uses imagery and mood to help the readers picture what it was like for Nathan Price to fight in the war and how he felt. Kingsolver wires, “last happy hours of his life”. This quote means that while Nathan was in the war he was affected in many ways. He had several traumatizing moments and he felt like he was not a hero because he did not die when he fought.

While the soldiers are off at war the message informing families about where they are, does not get around very easily, “Through the tunnels of that island fortress came wind of a horror too great to speak aloud—a whispered litany that would take years to be fully disclosed to the world, and especially to me.”  This quote describes how Orleanna felt left out of the war news and that it would take such a long time for the news to get to her.

Kingsolver uses similes in this passage to describe how the war affected the people, especially the soldiers. Kingsolver writes that, “It would permanently curl one soldier’s heart like a piece of hard shoe leather.” This quote is also saying how when a soldier comes back from was his heart has been wounded, not literally but emotionally and mentally.


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