Passage Page # Response “First, picture the forest. I want you to be its conscience, the eyes in the trees.”
| (C) This quote goes on to describe the jungle in great detail, setting up the location before the main characters are even introduced. Many works of literature and films begin with a description or a shot of the setting before the main characters are ever mentioned or shown. In the beginning of the book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix J. K. Rowling describes the weather and Privet Drive, the setting, before she ever mentions Harry. Granted Harry Potter books are series books so you already know the characters unlike in The Poisonwood Bible but the same basic technique is being used.
| “I personally set myself apart from the war on blood parasites to help my father work on his garden. I’ve always been the one for outdoor chores anyway, burning the trash and weeding, while my sisters squabbled about the dishes and such.”
| (E) Leah is speaking of her differences from her sisters, and how she is more inclined to help out her father outdoors while her sisters usually help their mother indoors. Leah seems to be trying to fill some sort of void, maybe without realizing it, that her father has for a son. Because this is a family of only daughters, their father seems to treat the girls with little respect, belittling them and treating them lesser to him. Partially this is just the time period but also it could be because their father thinks because he is the only man of the house he has license to treat them badly. Leah tries to do the sort of “boyish” chores and activities to fill the role of the son in the family.
| “Of course, everyone kept staring at me, as they always do here. I am the most extreme blonde imaginable. I have sapphire-blue eyes, white eyelashes, and platinum blonde hair that falls to my waist. “
| (R) This passage not only shows more of Rachel’s personality and view of the world but it also shows how the world tends to marvel at things that are different. It shows that Rachel tends to pay far more attention to how other people see her than her sisters and tend to be more superficial. She is probably right that everyone stares at her, but she takes notice of it perhaps more than her sisters would. And this quote shows that the world tends to pick out differences and sometimes quite rudely exploit them. It shows that whenever someone has an extreme difference they can be stared at, or sometimes worse such things as being made fun of ridiculed because of it.
| “When I finish reading a book reading a book front to back, I read it back to front. It is a different book, back to front, and you can learn new things from it. It from things you can learn can you and front to back book different is it?”
| (C) Adah shows her own differences through this very abstract quote. She seems to be quite profound and intelligent contrary to her families’ beliefs. She reminded me a bit of Raymond from the movie Rain Man who is autistic, but also very intelligent, as many autistic people are. But they both prove that just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you’re incapable of being successful.
| “’If I’d only the foggiest idea,” she said steadily, holding her pale weeping eyes on me, “just the foggiest idea, We brought all the wrong things.’”
| (E) The mother may be angry that the cake mix solidified but it’s more of a last straw to everything they’ve experienced since they’ve arrived in Kilanga. They brought so many things with them that are now useless, the cake and the seeds and without Mama Tataba they probably wouldn’t be able to survive.
| “Africa, where one of my children remains in the dank red earth. It’s the scent of accusation. It seems I only know myself, anymore, by your attendance in my soul.”
| (P) Returning to the mother’s future point of view she mentions that one of her children is buried...
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