The Bean Trees

Chapter 1

In what ways is Taylor's journey a very American one, and in what ways is it different from the traditional migration?

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Almost without exception, the American migration has been one of going from one place to another very specific place. Taylor's migration has no specific destination from the beginning except that which has been set by an arbitrary goal (the place where her car first runs out of gas - Taylorville - gives her her new name after being Missy for most of her life.) Even when Taylor has her ace-in-the hole "place" in the Cherokee nation, she finds it disappointing, a fact that has been true of many people when they migrate. However, at the Cherokee nation, when she is given a baby, she finds what will now guide her through the rest of her life.