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Bastard Out Of Carolina

            The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines moral as "conforming to a standard of right behavior and or being capable of right and wrong action" (481). Yet who is to say what actions are perceived as either right or wrong? Is someone who discovers that too little was taken out of his or her paycheck for federal taxes an immoral person just because they do not report it? A percentage of people would answer yes to this question, while others would disagree and say that "they caught a break". Some people would say that a woman who has an abortion is immoral, while others would contend that it is her right to choose. These are just a few examples of how people's opinions can differ on what it is right and wrong. Yet most people can agree that the behavior exhibited by characters in Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina, can at best be described as questionable. .
             The character whose morals are obviously the most twisted, so much so that he comes across as malicious and evil, is Glen Waddell. He constantly lets his temper get the best of him, causing violent outbursts in the workplace that cost him numerous jobs. However, this is nothing compared to the mental and physical torment that he inflicts on Bone. He starts this method of abuse by sexually molesting Bone when she is nine years old in the parking lot of the hospital where her mother is giving birth (46-47). It then escalates into his constantly telling her that she is good for nothing and beating her for the most minor infractions (234). After years of this abuse the violence comes to its peak with a horrifying and brutal rape in which he tells Bone that he prayed for her to die and he would kill her if Anney did not come back to him (283). Anyone who can say that this is a man of sound mind should be locked in a cell along with him. .
             Another character in the novel whose morals seem unintelligible is Bone's mother Anney Boatwright.

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