The Poisonwood Bible | Study Guide

Barbara Kingsolver

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Course Hero. "The Poisonwood Bible Study Guide." Course Hero. 10 Nov. 2017. Web. 15 Nov. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Poisonwood-Bible/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, November 10). The Poisonwood Bible Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Poisonwood-Bible/

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Course Hero, "The Poisonwood Bible Study Guide," November 10, 2017, accessed November 15, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Poisonwood-Bible/.

The Poisonwood Bible | Section Summaries

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Timeline of Events

Section Summaries Chart

Section Summary
Book 1, Section 1 Orleanna begins the novel as if speaking directly to the reader. She is on Sanderling Island in Georgia but describes a ... Read More
Book 1, Section 2 (Parts 1–4) Leah, one of the four Price daughters, describes how they came to Africa for a "twelve-month mission" into the jungle ... Read More
Book 1, Section 2 (Parts 5–8) Leah introduces Mama Tataba, the Price family's housekeeper, and Methuselah, the parrot. Mama Tataba is a small Africa... Read More
Book 1, Section 2 (Parts 9–11) As Rachel's 16th birthday approaches, Orleanna plans to bake a cake using Betty Crocker cake mix brought from America.... Read More
Book 2, Section 1 Still on Sanderling Island, Orleanna says a smell may remind her of "Africa, where one of [her] children remains in the ... Read More
Book 2, Section 2 (Parts 1–4) In their African life, Leah compares their family to Adam and Eve: "We had to learn the names of everything." Leah beg... Read More
Book 2, Section 2 (Parts 5–8) To thank them for dinner, Anatole sends one of his best former students, Nelson, to work for the Prices. Nelson, also ... Read More
Book 2, Section 2 (Parts 9–12) The girls are expected to take quinine pills to prevent diseases like malaria. Rachel complains of the pill's bad tast... Read More
Book 3, Section 1 Orleanna argues defensively to the ghost, whom she calls "little beast." She insists she could not save her daughters fr... Read More
Book 3, Section 2 (Parts 1–3) As Leah and her father return to Kilanga, she remembers the welcome feast that greeted them. Now she appreciates how m... Read More
Book 3, Section 2 (Parts 4–6) Ruth May and Orleanna fall seriously ill, but Nathan blames it on Orleanna's decision to ignore "God's call." The vill... Read More
Book 3, Section 2 (Parts 7–9) Orleanna begins to pull herself out of her sickness, but Ruth May remains weak. When Rachel burns the eggs for dinner,... Read More
Book 3, Section 2 (Parts 10–12) Anatole teaches Leah about the particular Congolese way of thinking. The election was a Belgian idea, he says, and har... Read More
Book 3, Section 2 (Parts 13–15) To Rachel's great disappointment, no one celebrates her 17th birthday. Leah is helping Anatole teach school, Adah simp... Read More
Book 3, Section 2 (Parts 16–17) Rachel and Axelroot go on a "date" to prove they really are engaged. Rachel both resents Axelroot and is intrigued by ... Read More
Book 3, Section 2 (Parts 18–22) Late one night voracious and dangerous ants swarm through the village, biting everyone and causing great destruction l... Read More
Book 4, Section 1 Orleanna here provides factual and also imaginative historical perspective on the Congo. She describes white men discuss... Read More
Book 4, Section 2 (Parts 1–2) During church services, Tata Ndu declares an election to decide if Kilanga village will worship Jesus Christ or not. N... Read More
Book 4, Section 2 (Parts 3–5) Adah describes the hunt. On the far side of the river, the villagers light a fire. Those who do not hunt fan the flame... Read More
Book 4, Section 2 (Parts 6–8) After the hunt the villagers gather to divide the meat. Tata Ndu offers Leah a small portion of the animal she killed.... Read More
Book 4, Section 2 (Parts 9–11) Leah says they heard a strange sound: "A gulp and a sob and a scream all at once, the strangest cry." She thinks Ruth ... Read More
Book 4, Section 2 (Part 12) When told her child is dead, Orleanna does not become hysterical. She dresses herself and tears down the mosquito nett... Read More
Book 5, Section 1 Orleanna says the grief was manageable as long as she kept moving. She left Nathan so she could keep moving. She remembe... Read More
Book 5, Section 2 (Parts 1–3) Leah says they left during the late rainy season of 1961 with "what [they] could carry on [their] backs." Orleanna doe... Read More
Book 5, Section 2 (Parts 4–5) Leah is now in hiding at the Mission Notre Dame de Douleur. It is 1964, and a new leader, Joseph Mobutu, is in charge ... Read More
Book 5, Section 2 (Parts 6–7) On January 17, 1965, Leah is now living in Bikoki Station, married to Anatole. This date is always hard for them, as i... Read More
Book 5, Section 2 (Parts 8–9) The year is 1974, and Leah and Anatole live in Kinshasa, Zaire, which used to be the Congo. Mobutu, still in charge, h... Read More
Book 5, Section 2 (Parts 10–11) It is 1981, and Leah is still in Kinshasa. Anatole is in prison again. Leah wishes they had stayed in America, althoug... Read More
Book 5, Section 2 (Parts 12–13) In 1985 Adah is in Atlanta. She visits her mother to report on her trip to Zaire, and describes how Orleanna continues... Read More
Book 6 Rachel still owns the Equatorial. She is now 50 and reflects on her life. She wonders why she never went back to Ameri... Read More
Book 7 This section is narrated by a different voice that speaks directly to the reader. Although the voice does not claim a na... Read More
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