Study Guide

The Poisonwood Bible Book 1, Chapter 9

By Barbara Kingsolver

Book 1, Chapter 9


  • Leah and Father are stoked that the garden is now thriving in the hot jungle weather.
  • Things aren't going as well inside the house where, for Rachel's birthday, her mother tries to make a cake using boxed cake mix. And fails. Betty Crocker and the Congo don't exactly mix.
  • Later, Methuselah learns a new word: "Damn" (1.9.9). Teehee.
  • Father demands to know which of the girls "would have a poor dumb creature condemn us all to eternal suffering?" (1.9.13).
  • No one confesses, so he makes Leah, Rachel, and Adah do The Verse, copying one hundred verses from the Bible before ending up at the ultimate lesson: Numbers 32:32.
  • Hey, at least they're not writing onto their own skin, you know?
  • They never tell their father that Methuselah learned "damn" from their mother, who said it over and over when trying to bake a cake.

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