Bastard Out of Carolina

by Dorothy Allison

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Chapters 7-11: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. How does Bone feel when Anney makes her return the Tootsie Rolls to Woolworth’s?

2. Why does Daddy Glen beat Bone?

3. What is Anney’s reaction to the beatings?

4. What benefit does Bone get by being Shannon Pearl’s friend?

5. What cause the fight between Bone and Shannon Pearl?

1. Bone is supposed to feel ashamed for stealing. Instead, she feels outraged at the way the man interacts with her and develops a rage that she directed towards him.

2. Daddy Glen cannot control his temper. Bone does not do anything wrong. Nothing that a child naturally does warrants a beating. Daddy Glen is cruel and his beatings are criminal, particularly because he derives sexual pleasure from them. He is abusing the child.

3. Anney is in denial as to the abuse by her husband. She is quick to forgive him, and in her confusion, she can actually believe that Bone has done something “wrong.” Anney is a very complex character. She loves her husband and cannot fathom what is occurring. She is incapable of taking the steps to protect her child because she is incapable of honestly confronting the situation and its severity.

4. Shannon Pearl’s parents book gospel as well as country and western singers. By hanging around Shannon Pearl, she gets to meet these musical people. Bone is deeply touched by gospel music.

5. Bone takes her offense at Shannon’s use of the word “nigger.” It strikes her too much like the word “trash,” which can be use to describe the Boatwright’s. The disagreement escalates with Bone pointing out how ugly Shannon is.

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