Alice is a loving, responsible single mother, who raises her daughter without a father. Taylor (the main character) becomes an adoptive mother overnight, acquiring a child of a different racial makeup and background than her own, and Lou Ann gives birth to a child on her own.The bean trees have a symbiotic relationship with bugs called rhizobia, which move up and down the wisteria vine’s roots and provide a network that transfers nutrients.
Explain what she means by this term.Why are Estevan and Esperanza afraid to go back to Guatemala?Who is Ismene, and where is she now?How is Esperanza feeling now?Why does Turtle say the words “Bean trees”?What does Taylor find out about Edna Poppy?Describe the conversation between Taylor and Esperanza.Discussion Questions: Chapters: 11-14What is the name of the company that Lou Ann works for?Describe Lou Ann’s dream.Where does Esperanza and Estevan have to go?What does Lou Ann receive from Angel in the mail?What happens to Turtle?Who was with Turtle when this incident occurred?What does the social worker Cynthia tell Taylor about Turtle?When Cynthia tells Taylor that she has no “legal” claim to Turtle.
Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees reveals through the characters Lou Ann, Turtle, and Taylor, that everybody needs to experience some loss before they can mature.
Why?What is the important idea that Taylor must explain to Turtle when they are alone?Why does Taylor take Turtle to the Oklahoma County Courthouse?Who is Lou Ann’s new boyfriend?Where is Angel?Where does Taylor take Turtle?What song does Turtle sing?What do “you” think happens to Taylor and Turtle when they return home?Discussion Questions for ReflectionKingslover includes a number of examples in the Bean Trees of characters who use their names as markers of their identities.
Taylor’s move away from Pittman and her taking Turtle, Louann not going after her husband, and the many risks of Estevan and Esperanza, create conflicts which drive the plot of The Bean Trees.