Study Guide

The Poisonwood Bible Allusions

By Barbara Kingsolver

Allusions

Literary and Philosophical References

Historical References

  • Patrice Lumumba (referenced throughout)
  • Joseph Mobutu (reference throughout)
  • Dwight Eisenhower (referenced throughout)
  • First Monkey in Space (Prologue.9)
  • John F. Kennedy (1.Prologue.9) (2.Prologue.26)
  • Dr. Livingstone (1.Prologue.14)
  • Herbert Hoover (1.1.12)
  • Florence Nightingale (1.8.30)
  • World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri (1.8.31)
  • Marco Polo (1.10.17)
  • Trojan War (1.11.16)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt (2.Prologue.26)
  • George F. Kennan (2.Prologue.26)
  • Mamie Eisenhower (2.1.25)
  • Nikita Khrushchev (2.7.9) (2.8.14)
  • King Baudouin of Belgium (2.7.13) (2.11.1)
  • Joseph Kasavubu (2.7.21)
  • Charles de Gaulle (2.7.40)
  • General Douglas MacArthur (3.Prologue.22)
  • Moise Tshmobe (3.5.60) (3.5.62)
  • WI/Rogue (3.17.12)
  • Allen Dulles (4.Prologue.8)
  • Lawrence Devlin (4.Prologue.8)
  • Dr. Gottlieb (4.Prologue.8)
  • Waterloo (4.Prologue.15)
  • Senator Frank Church (4.Prologue.21)
  • Battle of Appomattox Court House (5.Prologue.8)
  • Washington Crossing the Delaware (5.Prologue.10)
  • Capture of Okinawa (5.Prologue.10)
  • Kwame Nkrumah (5.6.16)
  • Agostinho Neto (5.6.16) (5.11.8) (5.13.19)
  • Pearl Harbor (5.8.45)
  • Etienne Tshisekedi (5.10.34)
  • Henry Kissinger (5.11.9)
  • Karl Marx (5.11.9) (5.11.13)
  • Ronald Reagan (5.11.13)
  • Princess Grace (6.1.15)
  • Albert Schweitzer (6.3.4)

Pop Culture References

  • Art Linkletter's House Party (1.1.11)
  • Donald Duck (1.2.7) (3.8.50)
  • Lone Ranger (1.2.7)
  • Cinderella (1.2.7) (5.9.2)
  • Briar Rose (1.2.7)
  • Dorothy Lamour (1.6.13)
  • Three Little Pigs (1.7.6)
  • The Lennon Sisters (1.11.15)
  • Lawrence Welk (1.11.15)
  • "Klatu barada nikto!" Famous quote from The Day the Earth Stood Still (2.1.12)
  • The Hardy Boys (2.1.27)
  • Rikki Tikki Tavi (2.2.5)
  • Buster Brown (2.2.5) (2.3.47)
  • Marilyn Monroe (2.3.4)
  • "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" (2.3.4)
  • Brigitte Bardot (2.3.4) (6.1.13)
  • Dr. Kildare (2.3.38)
  • Charlie Chaplin (2.3.46)
  • The Platters (2.5.21)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (2.7.2)
  • Beauty and the Beast (2.7.10)
  • Donna Reed (3.4.32)
  • Cinderella (3.7.5)
  • Snow White (3.8.50)
  • Elizabeth Taylor (3.11.4)
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (3.11.4)
  • Brigitte Bardot (3.11.4)
  • Zorro (3.11.7)
  • Humphrey Bogart (3.16.15)
  • Rachel references Robin Hood when she really means William Tell (4.2.2)
  • Brenda Starr (6.1.29)
  • The Four Seasons, "Big Girls Don't Cry" (5.5.8)
  • Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, "The Rumble in the Jungle" (5.8.9) (5.9.8)
  • Dick Clark (6.1.5)
  • American Bandstand (6.1.5)