Study Guide

Orange Is the New Black Family

By Piper Kerman

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A family isn't necessarily the group of people you're born into. Sometimes you end up finding a family, whether it's a group of people you work with... or live with... or deal drugs all across Europe with. All of these groups can be considered family, and just like your blood family, some of them are more dysfunctional than others.

In addition to her own family, Piper ends up with a drug family and a prison family in Orange is the New Black, and while the drug family is just as screwed-up as you might expect, the prison family ends up being almost as nurturing and supportive as Piper's "real" family.

Questions About Family

  1. Does Piper's family support her unconditionally? Do you think they are disappointed in her?
  2. How does Piper's drug family differ from her prison family?
  3. Which inmates also often get visits from their own family? How does this help them cope? 
  4. If you were in prison, would you want your family to visit you, or would you be too embarrassed to see them?

Chew on This

Piper shows us how important it is to have strong support groups both outside and inside prison walls. You just can't have too much family.

The prisoners who have it hardest are the moms, who can only see their children on designated visitation days, and even then under the strictest supervision.

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