Animal Dreams

Fiction as a Message: Kingsolver's "Animal Dreams" 11th Grade

In Mother Teresa’s poem “Do It Anyway,” the famous missionary reflects on the numerous misfortunes that occur in daily life and advises people coming face-to-face with these issues to continue acting benevolently. As she advises her readers: "Give your best, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway." In her novel Animal Dreams, Barbara Kingsolver extends equally inspiring guidance about how one can make the most of every day, and how to live graciously despite challenges. This author meticulously crafts multiple characters to offer pieces of her own opinions concerning what it takes for one to fulfill the responsibilities of being a wholesome person.

Although Kingsolver's character Doc Homer exhibits a variety of offbeat habits and displays his emotions in different ways, his mannerisms prove that it is essential for one to love those around oneself, even if it may be difficult to make these feelings apparent. At multiple points throughout the novel, this father figure seems quite distanced and apathetic. However, what appears as disassociation from the outside proves to be deep affection. Firstly, in one chapter that centers Doc Homer, Kingsolver describes him as a “spider, driven by different instincts. He lies...

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