The Bean Trees

Lou Ann and Taylor compared as mothers- The Bean Trees

What are similarities and differences Lou Ann and Taylor have as mothers in the book "The Bean Trees"?

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The dominant relationship in the novel is between the mother and child; most of the female characters in The Bean Trees are mothers who raise their children without the help of an absentee father. Mama Greer raised Taylor as a single mother, and Taylor in return becomes a single mother when she gets custody of Turtle while traveling through Oklahoma. With her impending divorce from Angel, Lou Ann Ruiz raises Dwayne Ray by herself, just as the waitress Sandi raises her son Seattle alone. In a more abstract sense, Mattie is a single mother to her various refugees, and compares herself to a parent to them on more than one occasion. The one mother in the novel who is not a single parent is Esperanza, yet she no longer parents the kidnapped Ismene. In this manner, Kingsolver idealizes the single mother and diminishes the position of the father, who in all of these cases is errant and irresponsible (Angel leaves his wife while she is pregnant, the man who impregnates Sandi disavows that he is the father of Seattle).