Study Guide

The Poisonwood Bible Book 3, Chapter 22

By Barbara Kingsolver

Book 3, Chapter 22


  • Anatole tells Leah that everything is okay, and she asks him if he thinks the ant plague is the work of God.
  • Nah. "Nsongonya are always moving […] whether God cares or not." (3.22.10). 
  • After talking about God and fairness and stuff, Anatole finally tells her that bad things can happen to good people and vice versa. There's no justice.
  • Upset that they never should have come to the Congo, Leah says that no one cares about her family.
  • Anatole points out all the people helping them right that second. Tata Boanda is carrying Leah's mother and sister in his boat. Tata Lekulu is carrying her father even though he (Leah's father) won't shut up about his Lord, and Mama Mwanza has been sneaking the family eggs.
  • Leah cries and tells Anatole she loves him. 
  • "Leah! Don't ever say that again" (3.22.47), he says to her, calling her by her real name, not his usual nickname for her: béene-béene.