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The Bean Eaters

The Bean Eaters


by Gwendolyn Brooks

The Bean Eaters Theme of The Home

Sure, a rented room in the back of a house isn't exactly what comes to mind when we think of homes in America. After all, isn't owning your own home part of the American Dream? From what we can tell, this bean-eating couple missed out on that particular part of the dream a long time ago. Despite the fact that they have little money and are left on their own, though, this couple has constructed a routine that seems to fill their lives – even though the entire scope of their lives is contained within one tiny room.

Questions About The Home

  1. How would you describe the place in which the old couple lives?
  2. Do they seem to mind that they're living in a small rented room?
  3. There's an old saying, "Home is where the heart is." Could this be a motto for this poem? Why or why not?
  4. Do you think this poem presents its setting as a good place or not? How can you tell?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The "home" in this poem is a sanctuary, a haven for the couple.

The home in this poem represents the broken dreams of the couple.

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