Study Guide

The Poisonwood Bible Book 3, Chapter 4

By Barbara Kingsolver

Book 3, Chapter 4


  • With Mother and Ruth May in bed, and Father not giving one lick about anything except baptizing the reluctant Kilanga, Adah, Leah, and Rachel have to step up and find a way to feed themselves.
  • They divide up all the food-prep chores, and tease Rachel a bit in the process about maggots in the flour.
  • Adah doesn't understand why Rachel is putting on a big-sister act because Leah and Adah have thought of themselves as older since they beat her in the second-grade spelling bee. "[Rachel's] downfall was the ridiculously easy word scheme" (3.4.53), they say, not at all symbolically.