The Bean Trees

What was the meaning of Estevan's story about how people eat in heaven and in hell? What was the difference between the two places?


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He says that in hell, people sit around a big table with plenty of food, starving to death because they must eat with long-handled spoons and cannot manage to get the spoons in their mouths. Heaven, he says, looks just the same: same table, same food, same spoons. But in heaven, the people use the long-handled spoons to feed one another. Estevan demonstrates by feeding Turtle a new piece of pineapple.