This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Search For Identity Dorothy Allison's "Bastard Out Of Carolina"

1927 words - 8 pages

THE SEARCH FOR IDENTITYIn her novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison tells a story of Bone and the Boatwrights, a family besieged by poverty and violence. Throughout the novel, the reader uncovers the lives of all the different characters, and discovering the identity of these characters plays a large role in understanding the novel as a whole. Within the Boatwright family are women who are constantly faced with the struggle of finding themselves in a patriarchal society. Anney, Alma and Raylene each have their own characteristics and ideals and as the novel progresses, Bone successively displays identity characteristics of each of these women. To Bone, these women exemplify the different levels of independence that a woman can achieve in such a society. In the end, while Alma and Anney are unable to break free from a male-driven society, Raylene remains independent, and Bone finds her own identity through her experiences.Bone's aunt, Alma, does not have her own identity- she relies on men and children to form her identity for her. She is married to Wade, a man who consistently has extramarital affairs. Alma "had finally caught Wade doing just what he'd been doing for years," (83) and moved out with her children, only to break under the stress of not having a man in the household. Almahad sworn she wouldn't have Wade back in her life till he crawledthe length of Main Street singing what a dog he was, but when thebaby got sick and the boys started running around at night, she gaveit up and moved back in with him (90-91).Though Wade blatantly disrespects her in every way, Alma lacks the strength and ability to leave him for good, because doing so would strip her of the only identity that she has possessed for years. After asking Wade to give her another baby, he laughs at Alma, saying that he "wouldn't touch [her] even if [she] took a bath in whiskey tonic and put a bag over [her] head" (272). If a woman were emotionally strong, she would not tolerate comments like that. Any woman who does not possess the courage to leave a man after being humiliated like Alma is stuck in a male- dominated society and lacks the ability to find her own identity.In addition, Alma's identity also lies within her children. It is perfectly natural for a mother to love her children with all her heart. It is also perfectly natural for a mother to severely grieve over the death of her child. However, Alma takes this too far. She goes crazy after losing Annie, her youngest child. Alma wrecks her home, frightens the children, and even threatens to cut her husband's throat with a razor. She longs to have another baby, because that would be the only thing that would make her feel pretty. If having a child is the only thing that would make a woman feel good about herself, what kind of identity is that? Alma clearly shows that she cannot live on her own- she needs a man and children to help her survive.Although Anney makes some advances towards independence, she remains...

Find Another Essay On The Search for Identity Dorothy Allison's "Bastard Out of Carolina"

The Process of Schlomo's Search for Identity

1287 words - 6 pages doctor, a soldier, a father, and a man. Although I feel I have found my identity within the confines of college life, I am still trying to find an identity in my complete life. This I do not intend to find anytime soon.   Works Cited "Caught between two worlds: the search for cultural identity in lahiri's the namesake" StudyMode.com. 03 2011. 2011. 03 2011 Web. Friedman, Jonathan. "Properties of Global Systems." Cultural Identity and Global Process. London: Sage Publications, 1994. 36. Print. Live and Become. Dir. Radu Mihaileanu. Perf. Sirak M. Sabahat and Yitzhak Edgar. Menemsha Films, 2005. Online.

Search for national identity Essay

1073 words - 4 pages The Search For National Identity Nationalism is the attitude members of a nation have when they care about their national identity. Nationalism can also be the love of a country and the willingness to make sacrifices for it. Just as a person’s identity is affected by other people and the events in their life, a nation is affected the same way. There have been many people and events that have affected the national identity of America. There were

Search for Identity in the Poetry of Modern Indo-English Women Poets

2253 words - 9 pages Paper: Indian women poets like their counterparts in the world literature show their concern for the freedom of woman on a par with the freedom of man in the social, political and spiritual contexts. In their poetry, sometimes, it appears that they are a little too bold as poets. The boldness of women poets is natural when they look at inequality they have to suffer at the hands of men. Therefore, they constantly search for their identity as

Edgar Allan Poe and the Search for the American Identity

1674 words - 7 pages the rest of the nation's ideals. According to Scott Finkelman on American charater and identity, "self made men and women ventured creativly into the [unkown], inventing themselves as they made social space for their unprecedented enterprises" (64). Social conformity was quickly falling out of fashion and the need to be one's own person, a rugged individual, searching for his own destiny wherever he may find it, was becoming more popular

A Women's Search for Identity

913 words - 4 pages object, causing her to fall madly in love with him. Ultimately, Hurston uses the symbol of the tree to show Janie’s search for a sweet marriage with a union of harmony. The symbolism of Janie’s hair denotes her identity, freedom, and strength as a woman. Her identity slowly begins to fade shortly after her first marriage to Jody because “his concept of a wife is an object to be possessed” (Daniel 2). One example is when Jody becomes the mayor of

Gulliver's Search for an Identity

1528 words - 6 pages Gulliver's Travels is a novel that touches on many subjects. One of the lesser points discussed is how Gulliver seems to be searching for acceptance and for his identity on his many journeys. Upon entering any of these strange foreign lands, Gulliver makes it a point to learn the language. This is because knowing the language of a foreign land is a crucial part to your acceptance in that country. Another thing that Gulliver adapts in each

Essay on Milkman’s Search for Identity in Song of Solomon

676 words - 3 pages Milkman’s Search for Identity in Song of Solomon      Song of Solomon tells the story of Dead's unwitting search for identity. Milkman appears to be destined for a life of self-alienation and isolation because of his commitment to the materialism and the linear conception of time that are part of the legacy he receives from his father, Macon Dead. However, during a trip to his ancestral home, “Milkman comes to understand his place in a

Search for Identity in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

843 words - 3 pages  Search for Identity in The Joy Luck Club    "Imagine, a daughter not knowing her own mother!" And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. (Tan 40

Search for Identity in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

1248 words - 5 pages treated as a human. However, the notion of identity in “The Metamorphosis” does not rely entirely on memory, but also on the despair to belong somewhere, to be categorized. For Gregor, it was effortless and comprehensible to be a human. The regulations of the society dictated that he had to be the breadwinner of the family, and, for an extensive period in his life, he was nothing more than that. Right from the opening of “The Metamorphosis”, we learn

Benjamin Komoetie's Search for Self Identity

1255 words - 5 pages : “‘I’m your pa! That’s who I am! Say it! Say who I am!’ … ‘Say who I am!’” (Matthee159). As the baby elephant dies, Benjamin Komoetie dies and Lukas van Rooyen consumes him. The use of tone, theme, and symbolism throughout the novel Fiela’s Child by Dalene Matthee boldly illustrates the struggle Benjamin Komoetie endures in this search for is identity, the main character of Fiela’s Child, had in discovering his own identity. Dalene Matthee

African American Search For Identity: W.E.B. DuBois

1115 words - 4 pages see the race problem solved with more books like Du Bois' s." On the other hand, the Nashville American reviewed the book as "indeed dangerous for the Negro to read." The New York Times printed an anonymous review by a white southener. This review stated that the book's flaw was"that its author was a sophisticated northerner with only a superficial understanding of southern black people and of the history of the South.Lewis, David Levering 1993 W

Similar Essays

Bastard Out Of Carolina Essay

1643 words - 7 pages , or a strong sense of family. Her identity is based on her inner strength and the desire for survival that helps her to sand up to the man who tries to destroy her. In conclusion, we saw how in writing Bastard, she also learned how to turn a poem into a novel, which created themes present in the novel and in order to have truly gotten an appreciation of Bastard Out of Carolina, by Dorothy Allison, one must have taken a close look at the

Child Abuse And It's Role In Bastard Out Of Carolina By Dorothy Allison

2007 words - 8 pages abusers, they must battle the effects of their abuse daily. Much like how an addict goes into recovery day-by-day, so does an abuse victim. Basic human skills that should have been established at youth, must be re-learned as adults; such as, knowing who and how to trust, building up self-esteem, and safely expressing emotions. Dorothy Allison's semi-autobiographical, Bastard Out of Carolina, opens the reader's eyes to a topic not commonly

The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian And Bastard Out Of Carolina

1900 words - 8 pages The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, tell stories about troubled adolescents and their desire to live a life more meaningful than the one society had predetermined for them. On the surface, Junior and Bone seem very different but when they are analyzed through the themes of discrimination, poverty, and friendship, these two protagonists become reflections of each other

The Search For Identity Essay

1454 words - 6 pages come from different areas from the world and try to fit into the American society but the parents do not respect the decision. The parents still want to carry out their culture traditions. In all my three stories they continually explore how difficult the search for identity is while they are young. Children are faced with two cultures, that of ethic tradition and that of the dominant white American youth culture that they were exposed to. “It’s