Bastard Out Of Carolina

Dorothy Allison


This story takes place in a small town. I believe that it is in the Souther United States, because of the way they talk, and how the explain things. For example: "'Two others, Mama. I ate one, gave Reese one'" (76). I believe that the way they speak, and how the character explained their actions is Southern. I also believe this story takes place in the early 1900s. Because the text states "She put the Tootsie Rolls in a paper bag and gave me a handful of pennies to carry" (77).


In the beginning of the story, a few things happen. First is that the main character hears her mom tell her "'Don't let me ever let me catch you stealing'" (75). Then she decides that she will steal some candy from a local store. She finds herself then confessing to her mother that she had done it. Her mom just stares at her, to make her just feel guilty. Then the climax rolls around and she goes back to the store to confess what she has done. She gives back the candy and pays for what she ate. The the store keeper says "'What we're gonna do is say you can't come back here for a while. We'll say when your mama thinks you've learned your lesson, she can come back and talk to me. But till then, we're gonna remember your name, what you look like" (80).

The Important Characters

Theme Of The Story

The theme represented in this story is, I would say, that no matter what you do, family will always be there. I say this because it seems that it is, throughout the story, a trend. This is shown when the girl takes the candy from the store, and, even though she did something wrong, the mother helps her through her time of regret and sadness by both telling her it is alright, and driving her to the store.


There are many conflicts in this story, but I would say the most important is when the main character takes the candy, and the moments following it. I say this, because I'm sure that when she took the candy, she had some internal conflict because she shows she knew it was wrong when she deals with her mother. I would also say there were some external conflict in these moments, because she was almost arguing with her mother, and she didn't want to talk with her at that moment.

Figurative Language

One example of figurative language is simile. We see this a lot throughout the story, as the author writes. As the story progresses, though, I find more similes to occur. One of my favorite is when the author states: "She rubbed the fingers of her right hand together like the legs of grasshoppers.

Compelling Aspect

I would say the most compelling aspect of this story is when the main character, despite her mother's wishes: "'Don't ever let me catch you stealing" (75), she does it anyways. I find this to show, again, the risky part of the main character, which caught my attention, because it doesn't show up in many short stories I have read.