•Turtle was introduced early in the novelas an abused and abandoned Cherokee child. When the mysterious aunt drops offTurtle in Taylor’s car, she expresses that nobody who “matters” even know thatTurtle is alive. In other words, no one with records is trying to find themissing child. The only detail Taylor is told is that Turtle was born in aPlymouth and that her biological mother is dead.
Turtle was unable to speak atfirst, which made it harder for Taylor to communicate with the unknown child.Taylors expresses how badly Turtle was abused when she takes off her clothes,she found “a bruise twice the size of Taylor’s thumb” on her arm andmore bruises on her leg… “bruises and worse.” To amplify how bad Turtle’sscares affected Taylor, Taylor says that “nothing, not New Hardbine or anythingelse had Taylor had ever seen had made Taylor feel like this.” Turtle’sphysical scars obviously signify that she has had a very hard and miserablepass which affected her psychologically and might be the reason why Turtleremain silent throughout half the novel.
Turtle was perceived to have a mentaldisable because she wasn’t able to express herself with words. Only later on,Turtle finally says “Beans” which was significant because it was her first.Turtle started to evolve and grow as an individual only when she trustedTaylor.
Turtle started with “Beans”, by the end of the novel Turtle was notonly able to name various plants and her favorite vegetable, she was able tocommunicate with Taylor and tell her that ” she saw her birth-mother’s bodybeing buried in a cemetery.” Knowing this information gives Taylor a deeperunderstanding of why Turtle was so captivated by seeds. Kingsolver expressesthrough Turtles character that abused women’s can rebuild their life with moralsupport and compassion others that can relate have.