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Unsheltered


A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.
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Discuss Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver:
Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?

Created: 10/16/18

Replies: 8

Posted Oct. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1973

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Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?

Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?


Posted Oct. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 92

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RE: Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?

Both time periods were rife with seismic shifts in mainstream thinking and seemed to create two camps of citizens: those who were intrigued by and embraced the new ideologies and those who clung to the current world order, regardless of what science supports.


Posted Oct. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Gloria

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 68

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RE: Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?

I agree with Paulak. These were both periods when science was presenting ideas that undermine current thinking. In Treat's time, it was upsetting peoples ideas' about religion and God's hand in creation. In the present, science is upsetting peoples' ideas about humans' contributions to harming our planet and its inhabitants.


Posted Oct. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 283

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RE: Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?

The current issue of Poets & Writers magazine has a fascinating discussion between Kingsolver and Richard Powers (The Overstory, his new novel, also focuses on the environment, and is a great companion to Kingsolver's). Kingsolver says in this article that she was consciously looking for an historical period where there was a "paradigm shift" like the one that we are struggling with now -- and she had always wanted to write about Darwin. (She has a masters degree in evolutionary biology.) I'm amazed that she was able to bring in so much more than just the religious aspect of resistance to science, to capture the whole complexity of social resistance to change.


Posted Oct. 30, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyn

Join Date: 05/12/16

Posts: 25

RE: Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?

In both centuries they were living in an unsheltered time - a period of social changes and upheaval that divided widely held beliefs.


Posted Oct. 30, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
caroler

Join Date: 01/12/16

Posts: 19

RE: Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?

"MARY AND THATCHER HAD LIVED IN ENVIABLE TIMES, WHEN BIOLOGISTS WERE DISCOVERING NEW SPECIES RIGHT AND LEFT, NOT WATCHING THEM GO EXTINCT." When I read this line I thought how true, so many decision and policy makers who don't care about the consequences of not caring about our environment. The Industrial Revolution saw many environmental wounds inflicted on the world but in this day and age we still seem to think we have all the time in the world to figure out how to recover from the damage we inflict on Mother Earth.


Posted Nov. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
candaceb

Join Date: 03/30/14

Posts: 40

RE: Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?

Change can be difficult but often, adapting to change means survival, mentally and physically. Both time periods in this novel reflect times where people either resist and deny the need to change or adapt and look to the future. Kingsolver delivers a powerful message to readers about being observant to our world and not stuck in a denial rut.


Posted Nov. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
charleneds

Join Date: 03/21/17

Posts: 24

RE: Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?

The more things change - the more they stay the same. Two different time periods with charismatic leaders and people that wanted to believe what they said and followed them blindly. The issues with the news media and the slanted news. The science issues and people not believing the scientific evidence.


Posted Dec. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 30

RE: Why do you think the author chose to set the story in two different centuries? And why these two in particular?

Both times were changing world views. Technology in both centuries was not only affecting changes in the economics of the individual but also the culture in which he lived.


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