Book Review: The Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn Chute

Book Review

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This is a book review on The Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn Chute. The Beans are an alarming illustration of disappointment. The story is narrated by Earlene a middle-class city dweller, she dissociates herself from the Beans by viewing them as completely different, foreign and inhuman to a certain extent.

The Beans are an alarming illustration of disappointment. The story is narrated by Earlene a middle-class city dweller, she dissociates herself from the Beans by viewing them as completely different, foreign and inhuman to a certain extent. When she is talking about the bean children, She calls them “BIG BEAN BABY” (5) to her the babies are strange and can be categorized like animals than as individual human. The animal similes continue throughout the novel, the Beans in general “breed like flies” (50). All of them appear to be the same in fact they are actually the same to her.

Another important view that comes across is that Earlene and her father also link the Bean’s poverty with depravity. They appear “uncivilized . . . PREDATORS” (3). Moreover, notably, their lack of compassion and decency is a result of  their inferior circumstances and their existence in the trailer. It is just a warped perception of regarding the insufficiency of means as being immoral unprincipled.
Indeed, the Beans are a logical butt for middle-class contempt; they are content, ignorant, not caring making something of their lives, wild and dirty, have no goals to achieve, habitually unreasonable, to summarize they are unsuccessful and a total failure by the standards and guidelines formed by the middle and corporate classes. Moreover, perhaps the worst offense is that the one that challenges the foundation of middle-class thinking, they do not want to improve their circumstances. Neither the religious after-life nor the secular state is appealing to them as they do not think this will in anyway bring about a change in their lives.

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