Search Menu


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.

More Help

Previous Next

Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!