How and what kind of help can be offered to Bone in Bastard Out of Carolina?

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It is clear that Bone faces a particularly dire situation, given the extent of the abuse that she faces and the way in which her mother chooses to ignore reality by denying what she knows to be true. Note the way in which Bone herself comments upon her mother's inability to face the truth:

I was always getting hurt, it seemed, in ways Mama could not understand and I could not explain. Mama worried about how careless I was, how prone to accident I had become.

Anney is herself in a very difficult position, as she has become dependent on Glen and can't imagine life without him. To justify her actions, therefore, she must blame Bone for what is happening, saying that she is making Glen angry and that it is her fault. Bone then takes to heart what her mother tells her and believes that what is happening to her is her fault.

One of the excellent aspects about this disturbing novel is the way that it paints a convincing portrait of the way that abused children can internalise their abuse and believe that their abusers really do love them. Clearly, Bone needs some real support in the form of protection and counselling to help counter these lies that she believes so strongly so that she can see the situation for what it was.


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