The price family is symbolically represented as the idea North American Christian family. They travel with their children to the Congo expecting to change the lifestyles of those inhabiting the area. Instead they endure a rather extreme wake up call that the life they have chosen to lead may not be exactly what everyone else wants.

Although Mr.Price likes to believe what he is doing is in fact the righteous thing to do, he ends up overlooking the fact that the people of the Congo have a way of living that does not involve the Price family.

Mission trips are often viewed in general society today as a a positive thing to participate in. However, in this case, Mr. Price’s actions in the Congo are also viewed as evil. An example of this is when he is attempting to garden outside as he did back home, when offered help and told that his gardening skills would be of no use in the Congo, he simply brushed it off. He portrayed a stubborn attitude and this was proved through his unwillingness to learn. Even after it was insisted that he make smaller hills out of the dirt, he still refused to change his ways, he wanted to believe his way was right, no matter what others say or where he is in the world.

Clearly when his garden didn’t work out as planned he came to realize things may not go as planned for the duration of his time in the Congo. This is an overall theme that played throughout the novel.

Perhaps it wasn’t the trip itself that proved to be evil, just Mr. Prices illogical stubbornness.