Bastard Out of Carolina

By, Dorothy Allison


In Bastard Out of Carolina, the main conflict is the internal conflict between herself. After she steals the candy she has to think about if she wants to steal again. She also has to think about how she disappointed her mom. There is also some conflict in herself after she returns the candy and instead of feeling ashamed she is angry at the man, and every time she passes the store in the future she is reminded of what she did and the anger she feels.


She is the young and helpless protagonist of the story. She is mostly indirectly characterized by the author, one way is showing how strong-willed she is, after she returned the candy. " I knew I was supposed to feel ashamed, but I didn't anymore. I felt outraged" (80).


She is the protagonist's mother. She has a good moral standing. She is also very passionate about her children. " 'Don't you ever let me catch you stealing,' Mama commanded in one of her rare lectures, after Cousin Grey got caught" (75). In this moment, you see that Mama doesn't want her children to turn out like the rest of the family.


Exposition: When she actually steals the candy, it was that decision that started everything.

Rising action: When the mother lectures her about what she did, she also learns more about her family during this time, this is when she really understands how important this is to her mother.

Climax: Returning the candy, this is the climax because it is when she realizes what she has done and she has to think about if she ever wants to do it again.

Falling action: She doesn't feel ashamed anymore, instead she is angry.
Resolution: When she walks past the store later in life, and has to relive that moment in her life.

Figurative Language

The author uses similes and metaphors to help the reader really see what's happening and create some foreshadowing. "The fingers of her right hand rubbed together like the legs of grasshoppers I had seen climbing the tall grass at Aunt Raylene's place." (76). This is right after Mama finds out her daughter stole the candy. I could picture Mama sitting there with a look of disappointment as she contemplates what she is going to say. This simile provides some great foreshadowing about her family, which they talk about shortly after.


I think that the theme of this story is that if you make a mistake you should learn from it and take the consequences. The protagonist did this when she returned the candy to the store and took responsibility for what she did. This is something I think everyone could learn from.


The most compelling part of this story is the theme, this story has a great theme and everyone could learn something from it. The idea that if you make a mistake it's better to take responsibility for it and take the consequences.