Bastard Out of Carolina Essay - Critical Essays

Dorothy Allison

Sample Essay Outlines

  • Topic #1
    Gender differences are prominent throughout Bastard Out of Carolina. Discuss the stereotypes of men and women that are displayed in this novel with respect to the burdens and expected behavior of each gender. Bone admires men, particularly Earle, as well as her Aunt Raylene, who escapes many parts of the female stereotype. Explain Bone’s perception of gender in her family and how she identifies herself within these stereotypes.

    Outline
    I. Thesis statement: Bone notices that the females are, for the most part, oppressed by their male counterparts, and she eventually ends up identifying with the males and the one female in the novel who is most like them.

    II. The women are burdened with raising large families early in their lives.
    A. Anney is an unwed mother who must struggle to raise her children.
    B. Aunt Alma is very busy with her children while her husband, Wade, is never around, for one reason or another.
    C. Travis is never around to help his wife, Ruth. The children have turned out badly. One, Tommy Lee, is a thief who has stolen from his mother.

    III. The men are often carousing and drinking, leaving the women alone. They are, for the most part, insensitive to their wives emotional needs. Often, husbands and wives briefly separate.
    A. Alma leaves Wade because of his carousing. Later she takes him back. However, after their infant dies, Wade tells Alma that she is too ugly for him to make another child with her. Alma’s subsequent insanity results from this insensitivity.
    B. Glen is incapable of supporting his family. On one occasion, Anney must prostitute herself.
    C. Uncle Earle is separated because he always cheats. According to him,...

(The entire section is 750 words.)