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Key Facts

full title ·  Pigs in Heaven

author · Barbara Kingsolver

type of work · Novel

genre · Novel of social critique; escape narrative, journey or quest narrative

language · English

time and place written · Tucson, Arizona; early 1990s

date of first publication · 1993

publisher · HarperCollins

narrator · Omniscient

climax · The major climax of the novel occurs at the tribal council meeting, when Turtle's custody is decided.

protagonist · Turtle, Taylor, Annawake

antagonist · Injustices surrounding Native American experience (white America), separation of mother and child (Annawake Fourkiller)

setting (time) · Mid 1980's

setting (place) · The novel opens in rural Kentucky, and weaves through Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming and Oklahoma.

point of view · Omniscient

falling action · After Turtle's custody is decided, the Cherokee community follows Cash to his home where he destroys his television, so that Alice will marry him.

tense · Present

foreshadowing · Alice's yearning for community foreshadows the way she finds a life in the Cherokee Nation. Alice's comfort in the Nation foreshadows the way that it becomes a welcoming community for her granddaughter.

tone · Both thoughtful and feisty.

themes · Community versus individual life; Native American experience and culture; family structure; motherhood; gender; homecoming

motifs · Laws of nature; luck /chance

symbols · Pigs, birds, horses, picture cube, old flame, Gabriel Fourkiller, Barbie, television.

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