Study Guide

The Poisonwood Bible Book 1, Chapter 11

By Barbara Kingsolver

Book 1, Chapter 11


  • Leah and her dad sit in the garden for some thinking and talking about God and the size of heaven. Like you do.
  • Later, Father attempts (again)Ā to persuade Kilanga toward baptism. When he fails (again), Mama Tataba goes to give him a piece of her mind. Then she quits.
  • Father has decided that their crops don't flower because there are no bees to pollinate them. Leah jokes, "I guess we should have brought some bees in our pockets too" (1.11.25).
  • Unaccustomed to women having a sense of humor, he responds, "You can't bring the bees" (1.11.27).
  • Despite thinking Leah's an idiot, Father shares with her that the reason no one wants to get baptized is because there are crocodiles in the river that eat people. No one wants to go in there!
  • Frustrated, he gets into a shouting match with Methuselah, the parrot, yanks him out of his cage, and throws him into the trees.
  • Leah thinks the poor parrot is a goner, but at the last second, "Methuselah opened his wings and fluttered like freedom itself" (1.11.48).
  • Aaaand, scene.