Poisonwood Bible

by: Barbara Kingsolver

Rachel Price

Characters Rachel Price

Like her father, Rachel is an unadulterated egomaniac. Unlike her father, however, her concern is not for the state of her soul but for the state of her body. Her appearance and her comfort are the only two forces capable of motivating her, not only at fifteen when she is a materialistic adolescent but even at fifty when she is a conniving, racist, and no-less-materialistic woman. While in the Congo she makes no attempt to learn the culture around her, and, in fact, makes a concerted effort to ensure that the place does not impinge on her outlook, or her memories, at all. When Ruth May dies, Rachel's first thought is that this event will make it impossible for her to forget that she was ever in the Congo. Though she is the most eager to leave Africa, and the only Price woman to consider America her true homeland, Rachel never actually leaves Africa. As the wife of an ambassador and then as the owner of a luxury hotel, however, she continues her policy of willful ignorance, refusing to let the unpleasantness occurring around her even penetrate her mind.