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The Bean Trees

Barbara Kingsolver

Quiz

Study Questions & Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

1. How does Taylor spend the money she earns working at the hospital?

2. How does Taylor acquire Turtle?

3. What bird symbolizes Turtle?

4. How do people eat in heaven, according to Estevan?

5. Why does Mattie take her friends into the desert one evening in July?

6. What signals Lou Ann’s growing sense of independence and confidence?

7. Why was Turtle vulnerable to the prowler in the park?

8. What do Taylor and Estevan toss into the Lake o’ the Cherokees when they make their wishes?

9. What does Mattie have in her garden besides vegetables and flowers?

10. Of whom does Mattie remind Taylor?

11. How does Turtle get her name?

12. What happens that causes Turtle to mutter her first sound?

13. How does Sandi from Burger Derby afford baby-sitting for her child?

14. What are Alice Greer’s “head rights”?

15. What does Taylor identify as a reason she would have to give up Turtle?

16. Who could be seen as Turtle’s tragic counterpart?

17. What’s in the bottle that Granny Logan takes to Lou Ann?

18. What does Taylor avoid all through her years in Kentucky?

19. Where does Lou Ann end up working?

20. Of the following, who to the reader’s knowledge still goes by his or her original name?

21. What allows Turtle’s successful adoption?

22. Who is the patron saint of refugees?

23. What does Taylor’s mother require of her before she leaves Kentucky?

24. To what does Mattie compare her house?

25. Who, at the end of the novel, is Turtle’s “main ingredient” in her vegetable-soup song?

More Help

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No Quote for taylor to say about turtle!

by jessicalynn2028, November 06, 2015

i think you should add a quote from taylor talking about turtle. it would really help the kids in high school to write their essays on The Bean Trees.

Illegal Aliens is Offensive

by SSActress, July 24, 2016

I would suggest that because the terms "illegal alien" and "illegal immigrant" are widely considered to be offensive, primarily because the concept of labeling a person as "illegal" is wrong, (as Taylor mentions in the book) that those terms be changed to the currently more politically correct term for an immigrant who enters a country illegally: "undocumented/unauthorized immigrant". This would show respect to both those who use Sparknotes and would read this synopsis, and also to the book, The Bean Trees, which very clearly rejected the u... Read more

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