Bean Trees Chapter 14

Chapter 14

  1. What bothers Taylor at the border patrol check?
  2. What is the national symbol of the Indian people of Guatemala?
  3. Of what ancient people are Estevan and Esperanza descendants?
  4. Who is the guardian saint of refugees?
  5. What disturbs Taylor the most about the treatment of the refugees?
  6. What is the name of Turtle’s doll?
  7. What advantage becomes obvious once they drive on to the Cherokee nation?
  8. What gives Taylor a cold feeling in her stomach?
  9. What complicates Taylor’s search for relatives of Turtle?
  10. At the end of the chapter, what does Taylor decide to do?

New Characters

  • Boyd
  • the girl at the bar

Discussion Questions

  • How are the alligator (“symbol” of Americans) and the quetzal (symbol of Mayans) different? What is Kingsolver saying about the American and Mayan cultures?
  • How does the chapter’s theme of “What is a home?” relate to Taylor, Turtle, Estevan, and Esperanza?
  • What is the symbolism of the word “Repent” carved on the sign about the volcano at Texas Canyon?
  • What is the symbolism of the Texas landscape looking like a place left unfinished when God went on strike?
  • Why is St. Christopher, the saint of refugees, mentioned in the book? How is St. Christopher related to the discussion of oppressed Indians?
  • What is the significance and role of Shirley Poppy?
  • What theme is suggested by the changes to Irene Hoge?
  • What has changed at the place Taylor was given Turtle? What is the significance of these changes?
  • How does Taylor’s opinion of the Cherokee Nation change?
  • What is the role of the Cherokee Nation in the book?

Cultural and Historical Allusions

  • Izod shirts (alligator logo)
  • Mayan
  • St. Christopher (saint of refugees)
  • Mayflower
  • Plymouth Rock
  • Magnum P.I.

Medical, Natural, and Geographic Allusions

  • quetzal bird
  • flatlands
  • Texas Panhandle
  • Parkenson’s
  • Ozark Mountains
  • Lake O’ the Cherokees
  • Oologah Lake
  • snipe
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