Questions and Answers for The Bean Trees

The Bean Trees

In The Bean Trees, what are three things Missy's mother, Mama, did to help build Missy's feelings of self worth and...

Missy's mother always demonstrated a respect for human dignity while raising Missy (Marietta). This was apparent in the way she spoke of her employers and it was apparent in the way she treated...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2010 3:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

How does Turtle impact Taylor and challenge her to become a good mother? How does she change and grow through this...

Turtle and Taylor have an unusual relationship in Barbara Kingsolver's novel The Bean Trees. Taylor is a free-spirited young woman who's off on a solo adventure. Turtle is the three-year-old that's...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2017 12:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In The Bean Trees, does Taylor Greer leave Kentucky "to avoid pregnancy and to get away"?

In The Bean Trees, Marietta (Missy) has succeeded in graduating high school by avoiding getting pregnant and dropping out of school as a teen. She has successfully applied for a laboratory...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2010 4:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In what ways is Missy's mother a "good" mother for Missy? What qualities does Missy's mother try to instill in Missy?

Missy's mother instills a degree of self worth and self love in Missy which serves as the basis for all of her endeavors. The fact that she decides to leave her home and strike out on her own, and...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In The Bean Trees, what does "bean" symbolize and how do the other characters react to Turtle's communication?

Turtle, the baby Cherokee girl, is on the developmental level of a two-year old when she is in fact biologically about three years old. When Turtle finally begins to express herself, through Taylor...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2010 2:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

How is the relationships and fostering of friendships with Lou Ann important to Taylor? How does she change and grow...

The relationship between Taylor and Lou Ann is very important to the plot of The Bean Trees (1988), Barbara Kingsolver's first novel. Let's go over a few of the main ways that this friendship is...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2017 11:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In chapter 13 of "The Bean Trees", what is the symbolism of the cameo brooch?

Perhaps there is a correlation between the brooch, something passed down within families and something that represents family history, and Cynthia's job. As a social worker, she must delve into...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2008 10:45 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

Do Taylor and Lou Ann have contradicting traits that cause internal conflicts in "The Bean Trees"?

Taylor is a positive woman who sees living in the world as a manageable challenge. She believes in herself and in others. Taylor has the strength and confidence to strike out on her own,...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2008 10:39 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In chapter one of The Bean Trees, what does the t-shirt slogan "Damn, I'm Good," mean?

Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees introduces us to Marietta, who now goes by Taylor, a young woman seeking adventure. Taylor comes upon parenting on accident when a baby is forced upon her by a...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2019 5:23 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Bean Trees

Please explain the symbolism found in the following quote from The Bean Trees: He told me that the national...

One of the main themes in Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees is freedom. Kingsolver tells the story of Taylor Greer, born Marietta Greer, who has left her hometown in search of freedom from the...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2018 2:51 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Bean Trees

What are the themes in the book The Bean Trees?

In my opinion, there are three main themes in The Bean Trees: the power of friendship, the fact that actions have consequences, and human rights. The Power of Friendship --Generally, the main...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2009 11:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In the quote "He told me that the national symbol of the Indian people in Guatemala was the quetzal, a beautiful...

The idea in the given quotation is that freedom and independence are essential to the lives of the Indian people. This is why the quetzal is the national symbol of the Indian people in Guatemala....

Latest answer posted July 20, 2019 10:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In "The Bean Trees," how do Lou Ann's speech, gestures and the way she dresses reveal her inner self?

Lou Ann suffers from a lack of self-worth. Her mother and grandmother are constantly critical. Lou Ann can do nothing right, especially in Granny's eyes. When Lou Ann attempts to stand up for...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2008 12:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

What does Mama mean when she makes the analogy about people and scarecrows?

In The Bean Trees, Mama's analogy about people and scarecrows reflects back to the main theme of the novel. One of the principle messages of the novel, seen in Taylor's adoption of the Cherokee...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2009 10:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In "The Bean Trees," what effect does Taylor's first person point of view have on the reader and the way they...

Each character has his or her own point of view in any story. In this one, we follow Taylor's rather roller-coaster journey through life and love and everything in between. If we just heard about...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2010 4:52 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Bean Trees

Why is Taylor "the main ingredient" in Turtle's vegetable soup song in "The Bean Trees"?

Turtle makes Taylor the "main ingredient" in her vegetable soup song because Taylor is the most important person in her life. Taylor has been taking care of Turtle since she was a baby,...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2008 2:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

  Discuss the idea(s) the author develops about the impact of our response to the changeable nature of life.

I would want to develop this by focusing on the way in which the protagonist is forced to change her views about adopting her daughter thanks to the revelation concerning Turtle's identity and her...

Latest answer posted January 1, 2012 4:41 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Bean Trees

In Chapter Four of The Bean Trees, why does Lou Ann find her granny and her mother so irritating?  

While Lou Ann is happy that her mother and Granny have come to visit (especially after her husband's abandoning her and the birth of her little boy), Granny especially gets on her nerves during the...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2009 2:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In The Bean Trees, is there a conflict between any character regarding culture?

In the early pages of The Bean Trees, we see that the protagonist, Marietta, has a conflict with the culture around her. It is this conflict that compels Marietta to pack up her 1955 Volkswagen bug...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2010 1:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

What were your feelings after reading the opening chapter of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver? Respond to the...

I wondered at first why Missy changed her name to Taylor, but maybe it is because she wants to get away and change her life as well as her name. She drives away from her hometown and says that she...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2009 3:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

What is the significance of Mattie's comment, "When people run for their lives, they frequently neglect to bring...

Mattie's comment is significant in a couple of ways. First, people who must leave their former lives quickly and unexpectedly do not have time to collect all of their literal paperwork--proof of...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2009 7:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

Why is the word "home" a keyword in The Bean Trees?  

The word "home" in The Bean Trees is of importance because it is the locus, the center, of where friendships are rooted. One of the major themes of the story is friendship. First, Missy is a strong...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2010 3:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In the book The Bean Trees (chapter 11), why did Taylor say to Lou Ann that she is just "too good of a mother"?

In chapter 11, “Dream Angels,” Taylor tells Lou Ann that she is “too good of a mother” to calm Lou Ann’s fears. At least, that is superficial reason. In a complex book like The Bean Trees, it is...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2018 7:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Bean Trees

How is Barbara Kingsolver one-sided or stereotypical in The Bean Trees? 

In The Bean Trees, Kingsolver does rely on stereotypical characterization a little more than is normal for her. Readers should notice names that are generally associated with "back woods" towns in...

Latest answer posted January 11, 2010 8:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

Does the following quote seem personal to you taken from "The Bean Trees" novel? If not please respond in the...

I obviously can't do your writing for you, but I can help you think about who in our society might feel this way. It's a great quote , and I'm confident there are plenty of people who might feel...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2010 9:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In The Bean Trees, does Taylor believe in providence as a guiding force in her life?

In the beginning of the story, Taylor (Marietta) doesn't give any thought to providence or fate or luck or anything like it. She just goes along with an ideal and determination and help from her...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2010 6:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

"He told me that the national symbol of the Indian people in Guatemala was the quetzal, a beautiful green bird with a...

“If you tried to keep this bird in a cage, it died.” According to this quote, being caged—without freedom—can cause something to die. If you look at the concepts of death and lack of freedom as...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2019 7:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

How is Taylor victimized in The Bean Trees?

Taylor is also a victim of the circumstances of her childhood. She is raised by a single mother in Pittman, Kentucky and feels like an outsider in her own community. The poor children must...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2007 6:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

In The Bean Trees, what happens to Estavan and Esperenza?

Taylor develops a plan in conjunction with Mattie whereby she drives Estevan and Esperanza to sanctuary on a Reservation in Oklahoma. This plan serves two goals. One, it gives Estevan and Esperanza...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2010 2:45 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

How can good things come out of something bad? How does abuse affect a family? How does love affect a person's...

Good things can always come out of bad, of course. Almost always, though, it takes the perspective of time to be able to see the good; while in the midst of the bad, it's hard to see anything...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2010 4:46 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Bean Trees

Does Lou Ann understand herself in "The Bean Trees"?

Lou Ann understands herself, but she doesn't appreciate herself. She doesn't see the caring, selfless person that she is, choosing to mostly criticize herself for bad decisions that she has made....

Latest answer posted September 2, 2008 7:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Bean Trees

How would you respond to a situation in which you suddenly found out that an orphaned baby girl was sexually...

I think that the most pressing issue for any child in this situation is for them to receive psychological and therapeutic help. They would need counseling and the opportunity to talk about the...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2010 7:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer