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Use of Multi-Genres Characteristics in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver Critical Essay

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Updated: Jul 3rd, 2019

A famous American contemporary writer, Barbara Kingsolver with an assist of her husband Steven Hopp and daughter Camille Kingsolver published the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle that touches upon the problems of living a sustainable life.

Kingsolver family decided to hold a life of the locavores producing their own healthy organic food. The book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle includes the elements of different genres that make it be more charming, fascinating and completely convincing.

Barbara was a story-teller from early age. In school she wrote an essay Why We Need A New Elementary School that was published and got many responses. However, young Barbara didn’t think about the writer career, she rather wanted to be a farmer. She always was politically active and was supporting the protests against the Vietnam War, sexism and racism (Sharp 871).

The idea that the southwestern literature is mostly based on the personal experience we can see in the Barbara Kingsolver’s books. However, demonstrating this experience, the author encourages the readers to cooperate in learning. Kingsolver’s story is not just a personal narration. She demonstrates the way of living in a deep cooperation with people from the community (DeMarr 43).

Kingsolver uses her own genre within the prose. She takes in to a new level using the narrative elements and making her pages fly. The book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a novel but unusual. It is a sensual, smart and impassioned narrative about the year of locavores’ life that Barbara’s family holds.

The book includes Steven Hopp’s essays and Camille Kingsolver’s inviting recipes. All these multi-genres elements make the book absolutely unique and charming.

During several years, Kingsolver’s family eats only food that has grown in their garden or nearby to the home. Firstly, they decided to try to survive for one year producing their own food. The tax of subsidizing the food production dictated by the government policy leads to the impossibility to buy the locally produced food.

All attempts to stand against of this system can be easily failed due to the multimillion-dollar advertising companies of the corporations. All this leads to the hearth diseases’ expansion, diabetes and malnutrition. Barbara Kingsolver sees the solution in the personal gardens where people can grow natural and healthy food.

Her book is full of arguments why people should do this and how. Obviously, the literary tools and brilliant style of the author make her book very convincing. For instance, when the author describes her walk in the garden, the reader can feel the emotions, color and smell.

Barbara Kingsolver says: “Nothing is more therapeutic than walk up there and disappear into the yellow-green smell of the tomato rows for an hour” (177). The reader can easily imagine this picture of the green and fresh vegetables in the author’s garden.

Barbara Kingsolver and her family not only describe their life, they explain the motives and tools that can help everybody to repeat their act. At the beginning the reader learns that Kingsolver family left the American South West and went into the new life travelling across the country.

Therefore, the author uses a method of the itinerary to describe her adventures and discoveries, feelings and motives of the behavior. Thereby, the reader would be fascinating to learn about so many varieties of tomato within the story of family’s adventures.

The approach of practical advises helps the author to build the story that can teach the readers. Barbara Kingsolver shows how to achieve the goals no matter of the financial situation. Although the people can’t grow their own vegetables they can buy it in a local farmer’s market instead of the usual supermarkets.

The book has two levels of the perception. Firstly, it is a well-written entertaining and funny book. However, thinking about the situation described by Kingsolver it can be depressing to realize that government props up the industry of pre-packed food.

Nevertheless, an example of Kingsolver family shows that people can choose the way of their life and to play by their rules. Basically, it is possible to say that Animal, Vegetable, Miracle opens the reader’s eyes to the old truth: you are what you eat.

The elements of different genres as a bright and emotional tools help the author to emphasize a beauty of the nature where the water falls from the sky and green food grows everywhere. Doesn’t it a reasonable argument that can persuade the reader to begin a new adventures life? Kingsolver’s journey from the industrial food to the rural life is a humored research of the zucchini growing to the turkey sex life.

Moreover, it is memoir and journalistic discover expressed by the passionate remarks. The author uses the elements of chronicles to describe the come back to the rural life in Appalachia. It is amazing how the reader can be frustrated with the unhealthy food and inspirited for the changes.

Besides, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is the story of the organized life with the chapters by month. Kingsolver’s husband essays make the story more emotional and her daughter’s recipes bring the fresh air to the narration. It is absolutely unique combination created by the author.

It is a story of farmers, cooks, vegetables and, of course, of the healthy life in a harmony with nature. The particular elements such as making pumpkin soup or the turkey’s wedding are the celebration of the small life’s miracles that, most of the, time stay invisible for the people.

Also, Barbara Kingsolver particularly uses the lectured style; however, it only makes the story more fascinating. There is no feeling of the teaching or pushing from the narrator. Written in a style of non-fiction, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle touches upon very important topic of human’s life choice and the personal freedom.

The author develops a successfully smart and, at the same time, funny style that can be accepted through the inspirational core (Gerden). Her ideas of the community and harmony show the individual freedom and the skills to balance between the personal and common.

The author builds her arguments through the book. She uses many interesting facts about a usefulness of the organic food for the health. I suppose that many people after reading this book would like to forget about the unhealthy food and to try something from the Kingsolver’s garden.

All Barbara’s advices are can be practically used by everyone and can come in handy for those who want to change their life and to turn it to the healthy way. The author created her own unique style by the combination of many literary elements. Using the elements of different genres, Barbara Kingsolver makes her book more charming and absolutely convincing.

Works Cited

DeMarr, Mary Jean. Barbara Kingsolver: A Critical Companion. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1999. Print.

Gerden, David. “Barbara Kingsolver.” NewsHour Online. NewsHour Online, 24 Nov. 1995. Web.

Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. US: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007. Print.

Sharp, Michael D. Popular Contemporary Writers. Vol.7. New York: Marshall Cavendish Reference, 2006. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Use of Multi-Genres Characteristics in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver." July 3, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/use-of-multi-genres-characteristics-in-animal-vegetable-miracle-by-barbara-kingsolver/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Use of Multi-Genres Characteristics in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver'. 3 July.

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