Minorly Independent: an Examination of Lanuange and Theme in the Rule of the Bone by Russel Banks

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Minorly Independent: An Examination of Lanuange and Theme in The Rule of the Bone by Russel Banks In society minors are looked down upon and are thought to be incapable of independence. The novel Rule of the Bone by Russel Banks tells the story of a young, 15 year old, eighth grader, who moves out of his abusive household, meets a Rastafarian father-figure and moves to Jamaica with him to create a new life for himself. Within this context, although some might argue that minors cannot manipulate their own life decisions, Rule of the Bone suggests a vision of the world in which age has no importance regarding independent choices in life. This is shown by the scenes in which Chappie lives with the bikers and has to support himself with money earned or stolen and when he decides to move to Jamaica with I-Man and I-Man assures him that the choice is up to him. Age is not a qualification for decision making according to Chappie in Rule of the Bone. Actions can speak louder than words, and Chappie has definitely proved his independence at an atypical age. He was a merely eighth grader when, I hauled my stuff over to Russ’s place and stayed there until the last of the coins and the weed ran out and Russ said the older guys didn’t want me hanging around anymore. Hector let me have a couple bags on credit so I could start dealing on my own and then the older guys said I could have the couch in the living room ay least for the rest of the summer if I kept them in weed and since I was a dealer now that’s what I did. Chappie’s decision to “haul my stuff” shows the strength of his independence. In fact, his choice to begin selling weed to Adirondack Iron, even if it means that he “could have the couch”, shows that he has created his own life for himself regardless of it’s cost or the rules of society. While Chappie was living with the bikers he had to protect himself, he

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