Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver
Summary

Book Two: The Revelation

Summary Book Two: The Revelation

Leah reveres her father, and believes very much in his mission to bring enlightenment to the unenlightened. She is desperate for his approval, following him around and spouting whatever she thinks he would like to hear. She even compares her father to Jesus at one point, saying that like the Savior he has been "singled out for a life of trial" (Revelation: Leah). Her adoration is unquestioning and fierce, and thus poised for a shattering end.

At the other end of the spectrum is Adah, who views her father with sarcastic contempt as a simplistic and vile man. She jokes that her father was probably happy about the handicap that promised to render his daughter silent, regarding it as a "God's Christmas bonus to one of His worthier employees" (Genesis: Adah Price). She is similarly contemptuous of the Christianity she has been taught, particularly of its unjust insistence that only those who are lucky enough to be baptized are allowed into heaven.

Ruth May, as a five year old, does not have any considered opinion of her father, but her overwhelming attitude toward him is fear. Her hear of her father extends to a fear of Jesus, whom she thinks of primarily as a punisher. She is constantly frightened that Jesus has noticed, and is planning revenge for, her small crimes. It is fairly clear that Jesus and her father have merged somewhat in her mind, at least to the extent that she is convinced that "God and them love him the best" (The Judges, Ruth May). Rachel blends the fear of Ruth May with the hatred of Adah. She despises her father, but is not astute enough to view him with anything like Adah's contempt.