The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Preacher 12th Grade

Throughout The Poisonwood Bible, author Barbara Kingsolver uses Nathan Price as a representation of the dangers of the combination of religious fervor and power in the wrong hands. This is not meaning to state that religion on its own is bad influence, but that it has the potential to be if it is implemented in the wrong way - forced by judgment or focused only on specific written rules rather than the ideology and true meaning behind it. Nathan is an impeccable example of the ‘dangerous hands’ religious control should not be placed into. He uses the bible like a weapon, bludgeoning the people of Kilanga with his strict beliefs of Christianity rather than approaching them with flexible methods and an ease of adaptation to their highly differing culture. One of the major flaws in Nathan Price’s religious practice is his failure to recognize the true meaning of Christianity. Instead, he focuses only on the specific standards and rules set by the bible word for word, such as baptism or prayer, when he should be embracing the spirit of the religion, such as compassion, love, and kindness.

A prime illustration of this obliviousness is Nathan’s interaction with his family. Nathan consistently prioritizes his religious mission over...

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