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Taylor's discussion of the social divide in Kentucky brings into relief issues of class that remain an underlying theme of The Bean Trees. The central characters all belong to lower or precarious classes: Taylor and Lou Ann from rural Kentucky, while by virtue of her occupation Mattie belongs to the blue-collar workforce. The anecdote concerning the suicidal Scotty Richey relates to Esperanza and Estevan in a significant sense; like Scotty Richey, the Guatemalan immigrants find themselves caught between two classes. While Estevan's education and occupation as a teacher places him in an educated class, his illegal status forces him into a lower social caste, working in a grocery store. This mixing of class markers also applies, to some extent, to Taylor. She is among the rural poor, yet her brash confidence and aspirations blur these class lines. This adds another dimension to the theme of foreigners; Taylor even explicitly refers to herself as a foreigner in her own land.