Bastard Out Of Carolina Analysis

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Bastard Out of Carolina Sexual abuse is all too common in society today; from adults to children it is a reoccurring problem that victims are subjected to because of unjust circumstances. Specifically, the sexual abuse of children is an issue that is bigger than itself mainly for the difficulty of identifying the abuse and the affect it has on the child’s entire life. Not every case of sexual abuse progresses in the same manner but there is always a progression in the sexual abuse of a child. Sexual abuse, according to Crosson-Tower, usually occurs in five phases: engagement, sexual interaction, secrecy, disclosure, and suppression. Bastard Out of Carolina represents these five phases of sexual abuse in a disturbingly detailed manner. Bastard…show more content…
During this phase the perpetrator gains access to the child, engages him or her, and conveys to the child that the behavior is acceptable. The engagement phase occurs in Bastard Out of Carolina because of Glen’s marriage to Bone’s mother Anney which gives him access to Bone. Glen’s lack of love from his own family and his desire to have Anney all to his self is what leads him to abuse Bone. Glen has always had a temper but his temper changes to rage which fuels the abuse. What conveys the behavior as acceptable most to Bone is the way her mother learns about the abuse and refuses to leave Glen. Bone convinces herself she is “trash” and that it’s her fault and she deserves it. Glen would sometimes justify his beatings as discipline. Bone was filled with self-hate. There were times where Bone recalls “afterward, Mama would cry and wash my face and tell me not to be so stubborn, not to make him so mad” (Allison 110) which places the blame completely on Bone. I think the biggest factor into engagement was Anney’s refusal to leave Glen even after she knew, Bone’s lack of identity, the pre-existing idea that the family was trash, and her constant desire to please her mother even telling her mother “I could never hate you” after she witnesses the abuse. As Bone gets older she finds even more reason to blame herself for the abuse. She even blames her looks saying that her ugliness explains why Daddy Glen is…show more content…
Disclosure occurs in Bastard Out of Carolina in a few different ways. First, Anney learns of the abuse by walking in on it. Anney at first seems angry but nonetheless allows the abuse to continue. When one of the beatings puts Bone in the hospital, Anney finally leaves Glen but two weeks later she returns and the abuse continues. The real phase of disclosure comes when Bone gets drunk at Aunt Ruth’s funeral. As Bone is going to the bathroom, Aunt Raylene walks in and startles her; she falls to the floor and her bloody underwear catch Raylene’s eye. Raylene pulls Bone into a bedroom and calls Uncle Earle to come look at the bruises and underwear all while Bone begs for her to stop. The disclosure of Bone’s abuse leads to her uncles beating Glen and him being put in the hospital. Another form of disclosure is the disturbing fantasies that Reese and Bone share, when Bone notices Reese’s obsession with violent sexuality she realizes that Reese was probably the victim of Glen’s sexual abuse too. The final phase, suppression, occurs when those close to the child encourage and often compel the child to recant or forget the abuse. Suppression occurred in Bastard Out of Carolina at the hands of Bone herself. She turned to religion at one point to search for the love and attention she so desperately craved. Anney often encourages Bone to not

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