The Poisonwood Bible Questions and Answers
by Barbara Kingsolver

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In The Poisonwood Bible, how does Adah respond to the corruption in Africa? 

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The answer to this question can be found at the end of the book, as Adah reveals what she has become and how she thinks of Africa now as she looks back to her past in the light of all that she has learnt in the interim. For Adah, as a doctor, and also because of her disability, she always looks on things with a clinical, detached view. She sees the past of Africa and the way that it has been exploited by outsiders and insiders in exactly the same way. Note the following quote:

Poor Africa. No other continent has endured such an unspeakably bizarre combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill.

The corruption in Africa that is caused in part by foreign intervention is something that Adah therefore feels immensely sorry about, but at the same time, she is brutally pragmatic about it. Corruption is a part of life in Africa and it is clearly here to stay, she thinks.

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