The Bean Trees

Barbara Kingsolver
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Chapters Ten–Eleven

Summary Chapters Ten–Eleven

Lou Ann shuddered. “That door’s what gets me. The way they made the door handle. Like a woman is something you shove on and walk right through. I try to ignore it, but it still gets me.”

See Important Quotations Explained

In Chapter Eleven, Lou Ann fully comprehends that Angel has left for good and that she must go on without him and support her family. The fact that she loves the factory where she works despite its unpleasantness suggests that earning money gives Lou Ann a needed sense of purpose. Because of her new job, Lou Ann stops reading disaster stories and criticizing herself. As Taylor says, the job seems to iron out some of Lou Ann’s “wrinkled edges.” Just as Lou Ann begins to gain self-confidence and self-reliance, however, Angel sends word that he misses her and wants to be with her again. The package he sends indicates his unfamiliarity with his family: the boots are far too big for Dwayne Ray, and Lou Ann’s hair is too short for clips.