Study Guide

The Poisonwood Bible Book 3, Chapter 17

By Barbara Kingsolver

Book 3, Chapter 17


  • Adah is thinking about names again. Emily Dickinson backwards is no snikcidy lime (could Lime Snikcidy be Lemony Snicket's cousin?)
  • The people of Kilanga call Adah bĂ«nduka, which could mean "bent-sideways girl who walks slowly" or "a fast-flying bird" (3.17.3).
  • Adah fancies herself both these things, thankyouverymuch.
  • She's been spying on Eeben Axelroot (he knows it, but Rachel told him she just spies on everyone because she's a creeper like that). He's been drinking and listening to the radio with someone named W.I. Rogue. Probably a code name, but Adah hasn't deciphered this one.
  • Eavesdropping on his radio, she heard that President Eisenhower is the one who wants Lumumba dead: "The King of America wants a tall, thin man in the Congo to be dead" (3.17.9).
  • Adah wonders, "What sort of man would wish to murder the president of another land? None but a barbarian" (3.17.12).