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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

            More often than not, those who others believe have it all are actually hurting beneath the surface. People's appearance and the way they portray themselves to others may be completely different from the real person they are, which can be hidden. In Gillian Flynn's intriguing novel, Sharp Objects, many themes are portrayed. The main character Camille, a news reporter, is sent back to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri where she is reunited with her family, while reporting on macabre murders. Some of the themes portrayed upon her hometown visit include that looks can be deceiving and that a troubling childhood can be psychologically damaging.
             Despite presenting oneself externally positive, internally people can be hiding their struggles and sadness. This is evident in main character, Camille Preaker, who appears as a girl who has it all because of her looks. However, even though Camille is an attractive young lady, people are unaware of her struggles in everyday life. She even admits this as she says, "Every time people said I was pretty, I thought of everything ugly swarming beneath my clothes" (Flynn 343). Camille cuts words onto herself, all over her body she writes down both her urges and words that make her feel that she exists. Not only does she cut herself, but Camille deals with her struggles by using alcohol to help her forget about her problems. She uses alcohol as an escape from her own thoughts: "I've always been partial to the image of liquor as lubrication, a layer of protection from all the sharp thoughts in your head" (Flynn 217). As Camille matured, she started cutting a lot less, and alcohol became her dominant escape. People see Camille as an attractive woman, but she only sees her flaws which magnifies her insecurities. In her private time Camille deals with her problems by becoming a cutter and an alcoholic behind closed doors.
             A troubling childhood and poor parenting can affect some children immediately, while having lasting or long term effects for others.

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