Bastard Out of Carolina
By Dorothy Allison
The young girl, who is the main character in this story, tends to lie a bit and doesn't like to own up to when she has made a mistake and has gotten caught. She is still young and doesn't know how to make good decisions yet. The people she tends to look up to are her older cousins, who steal and lie a lot. She is indirectly characterized by the author many times throughout this story. "I took mama at her word and hung around with my cousins Garvey and Grey, planning not to get caught and not to tell Mama." (75) This sentence shows how the author indirectly characterized the main character one of the many times. This sentence shows that the young girl is sneaky by telling the reader that she was just "planning not to get caught and not to tell mama". Instead of the young girl taking her mothers words and not stealing or hanging around her cousins, she does it anyways and just thinks of ways to get around getting caught by her mother.
In this short story, the store manager played a big role in the main characters situation, and really impacted how she felt. The store manager of this story was the store manager of the store that the young girl had stolen her candy from. He is a very angry man, and does not seem to even think about the idea of a second chance for anyone. The author of this story showed the reader that the store manager was like this because of how he treated the young girl who was coming in to admit that she had stolen the candy and pay for it. "What's this? He said in a booming voice. What's this? You got something for us, little girl?" (79) This showed me, as the reader, that this character is very strict and not really sympathetic. He immediately got very upset with the young girl, and did not think about how she was going in and doing the right thing by telling the store what she had done.
The mother in this story is a very caring mother. I say this because once she figures out what her daughter is up to, she remembers how she had done the same thing, and thinks about what her mom had done with her to make her learn, and she explains to her daughter how it would help her and passed the lesson on to her daughter. The mother really cared about not having her daughter grow up like her cousins (who tended to lie and steal a lot) and wanted her daughter to grow up and be the best she could be. "Mama's hand touched my chin, trailed along my cheek, and stroked my hair. "You're my pride. Do you know? You and your sister are all I really have, and I ever will have. You think I could let you grow up to be like that?""(77) The author shows how much the mother cares about her kids by having the mom say this to the daughter. The mother really does convince her daughter how much she loves her and how she only wants the best for her after saying this to her.
Rising Action: As the daughter starts to hang out with her cousins who lie and steal, she finds her self doing it to and has to think of ways to hide it from her mother and not get caught.
Climax: The young girl gets caught after stealing multiple pieces of candy by her mother. The mother has her daughter go to the store she had stolen from, and tell the store what she had done and pay for the stolen candy.
Falling Action: The young girls mood changes. It goes from feeling very guilty and sad about stealing the candy, to very angry with the store manager about yelling at her and being so mad at her and not just making her pay and forgiving her
Resolution: The story ends with the young girl being asked to not come back to the store for a long time, and the young girl having to deal with the felling of guilt, anger, and regret every time she sees the store and remembers what she had done.