Bean Trees Chapter 08

Chapter 8

  1. To whom is Taylor’s mother getting married?
  2. What is the name of the woman Lou Ann’s brother married?
  3. Whom does Taylor like?
  4. What is the name of the vine on the trellis in Roosevelt Park? Why does Taylor refer to these vines as “The Miracle of Dog Doo Park”?
  5. What is Taylor’s mother’s full name?
  6. What important question does Taylor ask Lou Ann? What is Lou Ann’s answer?
  7. How does Estevan describe the way Americans think?
  8. In what sense is Mattie’s store a sanctuary?
  9. Why do some of the people who seek refuge at Mattie’s have cigarette burns on their backs?
  10. When faced with the medical bureaucracy, Taylor discovers a word which satisfies all the paper pushers. What is it?
  11. What do the X-rays of Turtle reveal?
  12. What condition does Dr. Pelinowsky think Turtle is suffering from?
  13. What does Angel intend to do?
  14. What does Lou Ann think Turtle’s real name might be?

New Characters

  • April “Turtle” (discovery of Turtle’s name)
  • Alice Jean Stamper Greer
  • Rachel
  • Harland Elleston
  • Ernest Jakes
  • Terry
  • Jill
  • Dr. Pelinowsky
  • Granny Logan
  • She-Wolf Who Hunts by the First Light

Idioms, Slang, and Difficult Words

  • constitutional
  • tutti-frutti
  • in a tither
  • constellation
  • scenario

Cultural and Historical Allusions

  • General Hospital
  • Marlboro man
  • “X and Y Sitting in a Tree”
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • foster care
  • foster mother
  • wing-tip shoes
  • skateboards
  • Burpee’s Catalogue
  • “Blue Bayou”
  • Bermuda shorts
  • Blazer with four-wheel drive
  • succotash

Medical, Natural, and Geographic Allusions

  • Sugar peas
  • EKG
  • Wisteria vines
  • torture by cigarette
  • measles
  • scabies
  • polio
  • x-rays
  • spiral fibular fracture
  • “Failure to Thrive” syndrome
  • cactus
  • duck
  • senile
  • arthritic
  • seahorse
  • knucklebone
  • cartilage
  • carpals
  • metacarpals
  • psychomotor development
  • blackbirds
  • macaw
  • Tucson Zoo

Great Quotes

  • “All winter Lou Ann had been telling me they were wisteria vines. They looked dead to me, like everything else in the park, but she always said, ‘Just you wait.’
    And she was right. Toward the end of March they had sprouted a fine, shivery coat of pale leaves and now they were getting reading to bloom. Here and there a purplish lip of petal stuck out like a pout from a fat green bud …. You just couldn’t imagine where all this life was coming from. It reminded me of that Bible story where somebody or other struck a rock and the water poured out. Only this was better, flowers out of bare dirt.” (114)
  • “‘Can I tell you something?’ I said. ‘I think you talk so beautifully. Ever since I met you I’ve been reading the dictionary at night and trying to work words like constellation and scenario into the conversation.'” (117-8)
  • “In the dark negatives I could see Turtle’s thin white bones and her skull, and it gave me the same chill Lou Ann must have felt to see her living mother’s name carved on a gravestone. I shivered inside my skin.” (123)
  • “There was a cactus with bushy arms and a coat of yellow spines as thick as fur. A bird had built her nest in it. In and out she flew among the horrible spiny branches, never once hesitating. You just couldn’t imagine how she’d made a home in there.” (124)
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