Bastard Out of Carolina Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Why does Mama find Bone's birth certificate upsetting?

Mama believes that the stamp identifying Bone's illegitimacy will lead people to believe they are trash. Mama hates being labeled trash, no good, or lazy.

2. What is the implied meaning of the word "established" when uttered by the court clerk?

When the court clerk announces distinctly that the facts are established, he is insinuating that Mama is indeed trash because of giving birth to an illegitimate child.

3. Aunt Ruth tells Mama that she looks like a Boatwright after Lyle dies. What does she mean by that?

When Lyle dies, Mama experiences one of the worst experiences of her life. Aunt Ruth tells Mama that she looks like a Boatwright and is as old as she'll ever get because this incident defines or marks Mama for life.

4. Do you think that Mama cares if people think she burned down the courthouse?

When the courthouse burns down, Mama doesn't care that people think she may have had something to do with it. She has plenty of witnesses to say she was at the diner. Instead, she wants to make certain that Bone's birth certificate also goes up in flames.

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