Study Guide

Orange Is the New Black Chapter 12

By Piper Kerman

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Chapter 12


  • Piper enjoys working with Allie B. and her friend Pennsatucky, but she wonders what's going to happen to them when they get out and get back on drugs.
  • A new inmate comes up from down the hill: Vanessa Robinson, a woman who happens to be transgender.
  • The prisoners are either disgusted, outraged, or confused, but Vanessa wins them over by not being shy about her body and by hitting a softball farther than anyone. 
  • The only thing about her that irritates Piper is that she plays her gospel music loud and can't hit the high notes. 
  • On Children's Day, Piper gives temporary tattoos to all the kids who come to her booth.
  • It's nice that the kids get to spend time with their moms, hitting piñatas and enjoying a cookout, but when they leave it's really hard for everyone.
  • Meanwhile, Martha Stewart has been sentenced, and everyone thinks the domestic diva will soon be doing the cellblock tango at Danbury.
  • Piper gets a gynecological exam from a doctor who's either a really old man or a Velociraptor in a human suit and "it was horrible," leaving her "utterly powerless, vulnerable, and alone" (12.76).
  • On her construction job, Piper finds a mirror. She takes off all her clothes and looks at herself naked for the first time in seven months. She things she "resembled the girl who had jumped off that waterfall more closely than [she] had in years" (12.79). Is that a good thing?

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