Study Guide

Bastard Out of Carolina Chapter 20

By Dorothy Allison

Chapter 20

  • Bone stays over at Alma's, and gradually Alma recovers.
  • Alma offers to give Anney the razor for peace of mind, but Anney tells her to keep it. Alma still doesn't want to see Wade, but apparently Wade is suffering enough at Fay's, with Carr nagging him all the time.
  • Bone, instead of starting at the country school, is given a list of books by her mother. Reese tells Bone that Anney has seen Glen a few times, but Bone tries not to think too much about the future. She enjoys the peace she feels at Alma's.
  • One day, Glen shows up to Alma's place while Alma is in the backyard and Bone is by herself on the porch. Glen looks a little unshaven, has a scar under his eye and seems to limp a little. He says that he is looking for Anney. He steps on the porch and comments on how Bone has gotten bigger and will start dating boys soon.
  • Bone offers to get him something to drink and tries to get inside as quickly as she can, but Glen is right behind her and tells her to make him a sandwich as well.
  • Bone is too afraid to move. Glen says that Anney said that she will come back after she has some time to make it up to Bone. He sneers that Anney loves Bone more than he can understand. He says that Bone is going to have to tell Anney that she wants them all to be a family again.
  • Bone tells him no, that she doesn't want to live with Glen anymore, even if Anney does.
  • Glen starts getting more threatening, telling Bone that he is the one who tells her what to do.
  • Bone tells Glen to leave, and when he doesn't, she says that she'll tell Anney. Glen grabs her and starts to shake her and lift her off the floor. Bone remembers all the other times Glen has done this to her, and this time she struggles to get free.
  • Glen laughs and says that Bone is the reason for all of his problems with Anney. Bone looks into his eyes and sees craziness, pain, and hate.
  • Glen punches Bone in the chin. He tells Bone that if Anney weren't coming back to him, he would kill Bone. Glen starts to run his hands over Bone and kiss her on the mouth. Bone has a butter knife in her hand and rams it into his side. Glen throws Bone against the counter, kicks her, and breaks her arm. He curses and blames her for everything.
  • Glen starts undressing Bone, who starts swearing at him as he does. Glen rapes her, choking her as he does so that she cannot scream. Inside her head, Bone screams to God that Glen will die.
  • Glen finishes and collapses on Bone. Bone looks past Glen at the open door and closes her eyes. When she opens them Anney is standing there.
  • Glen jerks up and screams Anney's name. Anney hits him with something. Anney screams, Glen begs, and Bone is afraid that Anney will think that she (Bone) wanted it.
  • Bone wants to get up and not let Glen hurt Anney. Anney is suddenly there with Bone, cooing over her and dragging her to the car. Glen follows them, begging Anney to wait, but Anney doesn't stop.
  • Bone thinks of Travis's shotgun at Ruth's house, and wants to get it so that she can kill Glen before he has a chance to kill her and Anney. Bone tries to tell Anney to take her to Ruth's, but Anney ignores her.
  • Glen is crying to Anney like a little boy and says that he didn't mean to do it. Anney puts Bone in the car and is going around to the other side, but Glen keeps pushing the door closed. Bone tries to reach Anney, but she can't move. She calls for Anney, and Anney gives Bone a strange, empty look and hits Glen.
  • Glen drops to his knees and wails for Anney to kill him. Anney's face is turned to Glen instead of to Bone, and she starts to cry and call Glen's name as she holds him to her. Bone keeps repeating "no," but Anney doesn't hear her. Bone, for the first time, feels hatred toward Anney.

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