Study Guide

The Poisonwood Bible Book 3, Chapter 21

By Barbara Kingsolver

Book 3, Chapter 21


  • Adah wakes up among the ants. Her sisters scream and leave her.
  • She sees her mother on the path outside the house, and asks (yes, she speaks) for her mother to help her.
  • Instead, her mother takes Ruth May and leaves Adah behind. She shouts, "Come on!" (3.21.13) over her shoulder but that doesn't exactly make Adah more mobile.
  • Adah gets trampled by the villagers fleeing Kilanga. On the ground, she's covered in ants—"Ants on my earlobes, my tongue, my eyelids" (3.21.13).
  • Suddenly Anatole arrives and yanks Adah up, dragging her to the river.
  • Adah now believes she's seen evil—in her mother, when she left her behind.