The Congo Crisis – 1960’s

Independence Day for the Congolese, June 30, 1960; a day of celebration yet all the ‘whites’ are planning to leave the country and their, “…dandy houses with porches and flowery yards on nice paved streets…(Kingsolver: pg.183).”  Adah, the disabled daughter of the Baptist pastor has identified a red feather as the symbol for this day of celebration.  The feather is considered to mean the ‘truth, which must rise (Symbols: pg. 66)’.

Symbols

Methuselah, the Parrot

“The parrot left by Brother Fowles serves as a symbol for the doomed Republic of Congo. Methuselah is denied freedom for most of his life, and while he is kept in a cage and fed by his masters, he loses the ability to fend for himself. Even after Nathan liberates him, Methuselah continues to stay close to the house he has always known, dependent on humans for his food. He even sleeps in their latrine at night, for fear of predators. Inevitably, the vulnerable Methuselah is ultimately caught by a civet cat, meeting his doom on the same day that the Republic of Congo begins its own short-lived independence. Within a few months the equally vulnerable nation will also be set upon by a predator, the United States, and killed” http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/poisonwood/themes.html.

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