Chapter 8: The Miracle of Dog Doo Park
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A recurring motif throughout The Bean Trees, as demonstrated by its title, is nature; there are numerous examples in which characters reference or notice the growth of plants or the occurrence of natural phenomena. This motif first became prominent with Turtle's first word, bean,' and takes a larger significance with the paragraphs devoted to the wisteria vines. The "miracle of Dog Doo Park" is the blooming of the wisteria flowers in bare soil, the growth of life from barren ground. The actual growth of the wisteria vine will be explained in the final chapter of the novel, and only then will it achieve its full symbolic significance. Yet even in this undeveloped metaphorical incarnation it proves a canny parallel to Turtle: just as the wisteria flourishes from its barren origin, Turtle now flourishes despite her harsh past. The later visit to Dr. Pelinowsky confirms this metaphor: like the wisteria vine, Turtle lay dormant during her period of deprivation, but this condition is now reversible.