Study Guide

Bastard Out of Carolina Chapter 14

By Dorothy Allison

Chapter 14

  • Things don't get easier for poor Bone.
  • After Shannon's death, Reese is now closer with Patsy Ruth, Bone doesn't have enough clothes to wear to school, Earle is still in jail, Alma has been laid off, and Ruth's cancer is getting worse.
  • Bone is also going through physical changes. She feels awkward in her growing body and wants to be beautiful like the pale and frail heroines she reads about in books. Instead, she feels like her and her aunts' bodies are the hardened bodies of working women.
  • When Alma gives Bone a picture edition of Gone with the Wind, she gets even more downcast when she realizes that she can't compare herself or Anney to the beautiful Scarlett O'Hara (calm down, Bone, we can't all be Vivien Leigh). Instead, she thinks they're all like Emma Slattery, the "trash" character.
  • Glen is in a bad mood (surprise surprise), so Anney tells Bone to go over to Alma's after school for a few days. Bone wonders how long it has been since she has seen Anney not tired, sad, or scared.
  • Bone feels a rage inside of her that she doesn't know how to account for. She envisions herself as dangerous and imagines cutting Glen's throat with a razor.
  • At dinner, Glen yells at Bone for how dirty the bathroom is. After dinner Bone scrubs the tub and then takes a bath, scrutinizing her body in a mirror and thinking that she has nothing to be proud of.
  • When Anney is out of the room, Glen jeers at Bone about how she is lazy, spoiled, and not special.
  • Glen's comments make Bone feel useless, in spite of the fact that she is hardworking and smart.
  • Yet as much as she hates Glen, Bone also wishes that he would just love her as a father. Bone thinks that Glen must feel the same way with his own father.
  • Over the Christmas holidays, Bone plays with her cousins at Alma's house. She's the ringleader who makes up games like the Dalton Girls and "mean sisters," in which they pretend to be the mean sisters of famous outlaws or soldiers. Alma and Wade laugh at them, but Bone doesn't care and plays the game for all she is worth.

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