Bean Trees Chapter 06

Chapter 6

  1. How do Taylor and Mattie react to the first killing frost on St. Valentine’s Day?
  2. What are the advantages for Taylor of going to work with Mattie? What are the disadvantages?
  3. What seem to be Turtle’s two main goals in life?
  4. Apart from selling tires, what else does Mattie do with her place?
  5. What kind of belt buckle does Father William wear?
  6. What simile does Taylor use to describe Mattie and what does she mean by it?
  7. Once Taylor accepts that the explosion of an ordinary tire will not kill her, what phase or motto does she use to continue working at Mattie’s?
  8. How does Taylor’s mother react to the new name?
  9. What is the world like for Lou Ann?
  10. Why is Taylor angry about the way the house arrangements with Lou Ann have developed?
  11. What is Lou Ann’s greatest fear?
  12. What illusion about marriage does Lou Ann hold?
  13. What is Taylor’s philosophy about men?
  14. What does Lou Ann say that probably confirms for her that Taylor and she are better friends than she and Angel ever were?

Idioms, Slang, and Difficult Words

  • up the kazoo
  • pulling your leg
  • speaking in tongues

Cultural and Historical Allusions

  • John Wayne
  • Maze
  • “You are old, Father William”
  • Reader’s Digest
  • borscht
  • M-16
  • José Cuervo
  • “Skip to My Lou”
  • toilet flapper ball
  • Washington Monument
  • Cleopatra
  • pipe wrench
  • caulking gun
  • angle drill
  • battery-head cleaner
  • Ladies’ Home Journal
  • frisbee
  • Wick ‘N’ Candle
  • communist
  • Blondie and Dagwood
  • grits
  • prom queen
  • Old MacDonald Had an Apartment House
  • Tony Lama boots
  • slot machine
  • the No-Evil monkey brothers
  • love beads
  • hillbilly

Medical, Natural, and Geographic Allusions

  • Star sapphire
  • Shooting stars
  • Meteor shower
  • Sweet peas
  • June bugs
  • brussels sprouts
  • Heimlick Maneuver

Great Quotes

  • “The first killing frost of the winter came on Valentine’s Day. Mattie’s purple bean vines hung from the fence like long strips of beef jerky drying in the sun. It broke my heart to see that colorful jungle turned to black slime, especially on this day of all days when people everywhere were sending each other flowers, but it didn’t faze Mattie. ‘That’s the cycle of life, Taylor,’ she said. ‘The old has to pass on before the new can come around.’” (77)
  • “I though of another one of Mama’s sayings: ‘Hogs go deaf at harvest time.’ It meant that people would only hear what they wanted to hear.” (87)
  • “‘So one time when I was working in this motel one of the toilets leaked and I had to replace the flapper ball. Here’s what it said on the package; I kept it till I knew it by heart: “Please Note. Parts are included for all installations, but no installation requires all of the parts.” That’s kind of my philosophy about men. I don’t think there’s an installation out there that could use all of my parts.’” (88)