Poisonwood Bible Essay Prompts

Free Study Guide for The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver BookNotes

Answer Key

1) B

2) A

3) C

4) A

5) C

6) C

7) A

8) C

9) B

10) A

11) A

12) C

13) B

14) A

15) A

16) C

17) C

18) C

19) A

20) B

21) B


1. Discuss the elements of the narrative that are revealed by Orleanna but not commented on by the Price daughters. How do Orleanna’s revelations add to the character of each of the girls?

2. Leah genuinely cared for her father and struggled to please and impress him. Characterize any reciprocal feelings he had for her.

3. Discuss the irony of African words and concepts as they are learned and presented by Adah and Leah.

4. What elements of Christianity, if any, has Anatole knowingly or unknowingly adopted for himself.?

5. Discuss the similarity between Christianity and African paganism. (Refer to Christianity as most followers think it should be lived/presented, not the version practiced by Nathan. The ideas of Tata Fowles will be helpful.)

6. Many Christian denominations believe that God has given direction for spreading the Gospel to the rest of the world. If this mandate were taken as a given, what is wrong with Nathan Price’s method of presentation?

7. Adah indicates that she had abandoned her faith long before arriving in the Congo. How did this happen, and how does she maintain her own inward denial in spite of her father’s influence?

8. Children are known for being outspoken and literal in their observations. Discuss Ruth May’s observations of the Congo. What does she see that others overlook? Why are her observations important? Other than bringing her an early death, how does the Congo affect her differently from her sisters?

9. Is Nathan Price insane or merely a domineering, self-centered man? To what extent is he responsible for the adult lives of his daughters?

10. The Congo and its people have a symbiotic relationship. Discuss the power of muntu over the lives of the natives as well as those of the intruders. What things could be controlled or altered by informed, human intervention? What aspects must simply be accepted and lived with?

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The Poisonwood Bible Free BookNotes Summary Study Guide
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