The Bean Trees

How did Taylor and Lou Ann each respond to the attack on Turtle? What was surprising about their different reactions in the instance?


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Taylor explains that Turtle may not talk: not now, not ever. The social worker gives Turtle anatomically correct dolls to see whether or not she has been molested. While this happens, Virgie and Taylor attempt to deal with a bird that has flown into the house.

The medical examiner finds no evidence that Turtle had been molested. Lou Ann assures Taylor that Turtle will snap out of her catatonia. Lou Ann becomes angry, and even takes a week off from Red Hot Mama's in order to stay with Turtle. She blames the perverts who hang around at Fanny Heaven. Taylor laments the ugliness in the world, but Lou Ann tells her that she is the one who fights back. Taylor says that "nobody feels sorry for anybody anymore, nobody even pretends they do. . . . What's that supposed to teach people?" Lou Ann tells her not to feel like the Lone Ranger, for nobody is.