Study Guide

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 4

By Carrie Ryan

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Chapter 4

  • Mary makes her way back to the Sisters, and says the wrong thing—that she has no choices left—which makes Sister Tabitha a pretty unhappy camper.
  • She leads Mary and two other Sisters into a musty basement hallway and through cave-like rooms.
  • Sister Tabitha gives Mary a history lesson as they walk through a narrow tunnel—the basement used to house a plantation winery, and the Forest used to be a vineyard. There was a well house where the winery folks stomped the grapes, but it disintegrated over time.
  • Sister Tabitha shows Mary a creepy door in the ceiling and tells her that's where the well house once was.
  • When she forces Mary to open it, Mary gets majorly creeped out.
  • Suddenly she's outside, and—what the shmoop?—she's surrounded by zombies in every direction. There's a fence holding them back, but Sister Tabitha shows Mary that she can pull a rope and open a gate into zombieland.
  • Mary is freaked out to the max, and she cries and begs Sister Tabitha to know what is going on.
  • Sister Tabitha tells her there is always a choice (remember how Mary told her earlier that she didn't have any choices left?), and Mary says the words Sister Tabitha wants to hear: "I choose to join the Sisterhood" (4.28). At this point, Mary will do anything to get outta there.
  • Sister (creepy) Tabitha grabs Mary's face and tells her she can't speak anymore unless she's praying.
  • The Sisters lead her back to her room, and Sister Terrifying gives her a book of Scripture. Mary has to read it five times before she can gain privileges. Ouch.
  • Weeks pass by, and Mary stops reading so much and starts thinking about zombies.
  • In the middle of winter, something bad happens and there's tons of screaming and scrambling in the Cathedral.
  • Mary thinks it's zombies, but nope—just a regular old screaming dude. The Sisters work to take care of him, and Mary stays in her room.

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