Study Guide

Bastard Out of Carolina Chapter 22

By Dorothy Allison

Chapter 22

  • Raylene stays with Bone all night in the hospital.
  • Even as Raylene tries to comfort Bone in the car, all Bone can think about is where Anney has gone.
  • Raylene and Bone get to Raylene's house, where there is an unfamiliar yellow dog under the porch.
  • Raylene turns off the car and tells Bone that she needs to hear something that she may be too young to hear. She tells her that when she was with the carnival, she was with a woman with whom she wanted to spend her life. But she made the woman choose between Raylene and her baby, and the woman chose her baby. Raylene came back alone, and it just about killed the both of them.
  • Raylene tells Bone that sometimes people do terrible things to the ones they love, and they can't explain why, even though it eats them up inside. She tells Bone that she doesn't know where Anney is, but that Anney loves her and that she's never going to forgive herself for what she let happen.
  • Raylene tells Bone that both of them need time and asks Bone if she knows what she looks like.
  • Bone had looked at herself in the mirror at the hospital and thinks that she looks older, harder, and meaner. She resents every person around her who treats her as if she is fragile, because she feels like she is full of hate.
  • Raylene tells Bone not to think about what happened, because she won't understand it yet. She promises her that things will get better in time. Bone stares at Raylene hatefully for saying that.
  • Raylene carries Bone inside the house as if she weighed nothing. Bone looks at the dog and wants to beat it.
  • Everything hurts Bone: her arm, her hip, and especially her heart. When Raylene brings Bone soup, she tells Raylene that she hates Anney. Raylene responds that Bone will forgive her. Bone can't even bear to think about Anney, and she refuses to speak or eat.
  • Bone hears Raylene and Earle saying that they don't know where Anney is, or Glen. The uncles are thinking about paying a bounty hunter, and Nevil comes over one day and whispers "I promise" to Bone, which makes her smile. Fay tells Raylene that Nevil has stopped sleeping at home and spends all night driving around, searching for Glen.
  • One night, Anney shows up at Raylene's. Bone is listening to a record and trying to cry but can't. She hears the screen door and turns around to see Anney.
  • Anney looks much older and more worn. She comes over to Bone and tries to talk to her, but Bone cannot move or speak.
  • Anney tells Bone that she never wanted her to get hurt, that she wanted them all to be safe and happy, and that she was so in love with Glen that she couldn't imagine that he would hurt her like he did.
  • Bone wants to tell Anney that she never doubted her, but she feels like Anney is a stranger.
  • Anney tells Bone that she loves her. Bone wants her mother back, but she knows that things can never be as they were.
  • Bone cries as Anney embraces her. She sees Raylene standing in the doorway. Bone lets go of her grief and anger as she cries, but she knows that it will come back.
  • Bone stops crying, and Raylene calls out both of their names. Anney stands up and pats Bone's arm. There is an envelope on Bone's lap.
  • Anney kisses Bone and tells her again that she loves her. Anney leaves, shaking her head when Raylene comes through the door. They hear her car drive away.
  • Bone asks Raylene if she knows where Anney is going. Raylene doesn't. Bone suspects California or Florida, because Glen had always talked about finding decent work there.
  • Inside the envelope is a birth certificate for Bone, without the stamp of illegitimacy across the bottom.
  • Bone wonders what kind of person Anney had been before Bone was born and wonders what she (Bone) will be like when she is older. She knows that she is already a strong Boatwright woman like her mother.

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