Barbara Kingsolver's
The Bean Trees

The Chaffey College Book 1999

Visitors Since 8/10/99
Last Update

picture of Greek character Ismene on Louvre's pot
Image of Greek character Ismene on Old Pot in Louvre
This image is copyrighted by the Louvre.
See this Ismene page
and The Daughters of Oedipus site

picture of some fig trees
Fig Trees
See also Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

logo of 4-H club
Logo of 4-H Club

New Characters
  • The Greasers
  • The Nutters
Cultural and Historical Allusions
  • 4-H Club
  • India's caste system
  • The Untouchables
  • The stolen, lost, disappeared children of Guatemala
  • Time-Life books
  • Levi's
Medical, Natural, and Geographic Allusions
  • Suicide by asprin
  • Fig tree
  • Torture by electricity
  • Walnuts
  • Walnut trees
  • syrup of ipecac
Great Quotes
Page numbers from the large-sized paperback edition
  • "It was after sunset and the moon was already up. A fig grew by the back door, an old, stubborn tree that was slow to leaf out. The moon threw shadows of fig branches that curled like empty hands across Estevan's face and his chest. Something inside this man was turning inside out." (131-2)
  • "The schoolgirl nerves that had possessed me half an hour ago seemed ridiculous now; this was like having a crush on some guy only to find he's been dating your mother or your math teacher. This man was way beyond me." (135)
  • "It's hard to explain, but a certain kind of horror is beyond tears. Tears would be like worrying about watermarks on the furniture when the house is burning down." (136)
  • "There was no way on earth I could explain what I felt, that my whole life had been running along on dumb luck and I hadn't even noticed." (137)
  • "All of Esperanza's hurts flamed up in my mind, a huge pile of burning things that the world just kept throwing more onto. Somewhere in that pile was a child that looked just like Turtle. I lifted Estevan's hand from my ribcage and kissed his palm. It felt warm. Then I slid off the sofa and went to my own bed."

The Author Chapter One, "The One to Get Away"
Chapter Two, "New Year's Pig" Chapter Three, "Jesus is Lord Used Tires"
Chapter Four, "Tug Fork Water" Chapter Five, "Harmonious Space"
Chapter Six, "Valentine's Day" Chapter Seven, "How They Eat in Heaven"
Chapter Eight, "The Miracle of Dog Doo Park" Chapter Nine, "Ismene"
Chapter Ten, "The Bean Trees" Chapter Eleven, "Dream Angels"
Chapter Twelve, "Into the Terrible Night" Chapter Thirteen, "Night-Blooming Cereus"
Chapter Fourteen, "Guardian Saints" Chapter Fifteen, "Lake O' the Cherokees"
Chapter Sixteen, "Soundness of Mind and Freedom of Will" Chapter Seventeen, "Rhizobia"
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