Study Guide

Bastard Out of Carolina Chapter 21

By Dorothy Allison

Chapter 21

  • Alma keeps a scrapbook for when the Boatwrights makes it into the newspaper—like the time, for instance, Earle drove his car into a barbershop.
  • When Bone makes it into the scrapbook with a picture of her all bloody and bandaged, she thinks bitterly how she is a Boatwright for sure.
  • Anney drops Bone off at the hospital, and then disappears. Bone catches a glimpse of her face in the mirror and feels like she doesn't recognize herself and her sunken-in eyes.
  • The doctor looks at the bruises on Bone's thighs and seems to know what happened. He tells Bone to let him know if anything else hurts her. Bone doesn't know if he means it as a question or not, and doesn't say anything. She wonders where Anney is.
  • A deputy comes to see Bone and ask her about the incident. He looks young to Bone, as though he is trying to act older. He asks if Bone wants to tell him what happened. Bone wants to tell him but doesn't know how to, or where to begin.
  • The deputy tells Bone that she's going to be fine, and that her family is waiting outside. Bone asks hopefully for Anney, but the deputy says that she isn't there. The way he talks to Bone in a careful, constructed friendliness reminds her of Glen, and she refuses to say anything. She remembers what Raylene said to her about not judging people, but she hates the deputy regardless.
  • Speaking of Raylene, the door bursts open: it's Raylene wrestling with the nurse.
  • Raylene lays it on the deputy, demanding to know why he is interrogating a child when she is hurt and scared.

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