- Lack of commitment in the marriage results to domestic violence and child sexual abuse
- Domestic violence brings tension in the family
- Threats and commands
- Sexual harassment on the children
ii) Violation of Childs rights
iii) Denial of essential human requirements
- Ignorance of the parents on important issues affecting the family
- Desperate wife is willing to compromise evils of her husband.
Bastard Out of Carolina
A story of a girl who was born after her mother had luckily survived a bad road accident. This girl was called Bone and while she is still young, her mother marries another man, Lyle. As life continues, the marriage brings forth another daughter. After the death of the Lyle, Anney the mother of the two girls gets married to Glen who is an evil man because he sexually abuses Bone. In addition, “He also abuses her physically thus injuring her through beatings” (Allison 34). This action makes Bone to wonder why her mother was still quiet and unable to do a way with the horrible husband. This story involves many sad occurrences that show marriage hardships. In addition, it also deals with domestic violence and child abuse. These are shown in the marriage after the death of Lyle. In this text, lack of commitment in the marriage result to domestic violence and child sexual abuse.
In the commencement of his marriage with Anney, Glen had the tendency of abusing Bone. For instance, the first occurrence of this sexual abuse takes place in a while after he marries Bone’s mother. However, it appears that he focused on the future and the approaching birth of their child. This action asserts some significance because it contradicts the arguments brought by characters. It is perceived that Glen counterchecks his disappointment on Bone hence this shows that Glen has the appetite, despite the situation of mistreating the girl. “This kind of violence is related to the dissatisfaction that Glen received in his marriage with Anney” (Blodgett 57). Therefore, we realize that child abuse and domestic violence move together because one is a consequence of the other. In this case, the silence of her mother not to save her from the evil husband shows fear in the marriage.
The other issue concerns the comparison of child abuse and domestic violence with respect to bad perception of normality. The continual abuse of the girl is later taken to be normal because Glen was avenging his dissatisfaction of her wife with her daughter, an action that was taken as obvious in the society. Thereby, parents due to the marital inequalities that involve the deficiency of some marital elements have abused many children. The elements consist of love and care that ought to lack in the marriage, as each party is busy undertaking other chores that are far from the marriage life. On the other hand, domestic violence exists where people also experience the same kind of dissatisfaction in the marriage life. This bad incident not only affects the children but also affects the parents. In this incident, Bone’s mother Anney who was just fifteen years when she conceived Bone, without legal advice gets married to Glen who has a tendency of abusing her child. The sexual abuse done by this monster stepfather leads to desertion and nearly separation of the marriage. The awareness of this evil act by her mother brought a lot of controversy that was aimed at ending the marriage between Glen and Anney.
The other issue that dominated the two topics in this story is ignorance by both the parents on the serious matters of marriage. In this way, sexual abuse is caused by the ignorance of the parent on the rights of the child. This evidently was occurring in the life of Glen and he did not see the mistake he was doing because it had become a habit in his life. This uncontrollable habit could only be corrected by the parties involved or with the presence of the third party. Therefore, there was a lot of ignorance that dominated the whole marriage of Anney and Glen and thus it was the root cause of the sexual harassment and violence. In addition, Bones mother was very ignorant to take quick action after the first instance when she realized that her child was being assaulted by her husband. She continues with her own chores of beatification even after knowing that her daughter was being assaulted.
“Mama put on a clean bar and one of the sleeveless red pullover sweaters she’d gotten from her friend Mab down at the dinner… Mama outlined her mouth in bold red lipstick, combed back her dark blond hair, and hung her big old purse on one arm“(Perebinossoff 74).
No one could expect this oweful experience simply because it was ironical. Instead of a father offering care to the child that he agreed to father, he goes ahead and abuses her sexually. On the other hand, the domestic violence is also caused by ignorance where Anney’s husband was not willing to take responsibility of taking care of the family.
Contrary to these two topics of child abuse and domestic violence, we realize that her mother was desperate and hence she did not want to be left by her alleged husband. Thus, she decided to withstand all those abuses in order to retain her husband. She used to view her life as a bad omen because she had lost two husbands and thus the fate of her life she claimed was in the hands of her husband. Therefore, domestic violence and the sexual abuse were not from the ignorance because each party in the marriage was aware of what was happening. It was hard for Anney to accept the fact that Glen was not the husband for her due to his bad conduct, which symbolized an inhumane character. However, “she chose to stay blind and deaf on the suffering of her child an action that proves her desperation towards marriage” (Miller 65). It is surprising that, Anney was content with her husband’s behavior on her child because she thought his satisfaction would make him continue staying in the family.
The other contrast states that the domestic violence was not because of dissatisfaction of the husband in the marriage. This is because the marriage between Anney and Glen was a thought to have a great influence from Anney more than from Glen. In other words, it was thought that Anney initiated the relationship that led to her marriage to Glen thus in a way, the marriage was under the mercies of the husband. Therefore, violence was a kind of resistance and threats to imply that the husband could just leave them if they do not comply with his rules and commands.
In this story, the theme of sexual harassment and domestic violence dominate the whole story due to immature marriage between Glen and Anney. This marriage also was associated with many defaults that were caused by the husband who deliberately wanted to test the reactions of her wife. In addition, the wife was desperate for marriage due to her subsequent loss of two husbands, which symbolized a bad omen in her life. Thus to avoid that humiliation, she decided to retain Glen irrespective of his bad behavior. Hence, this story shows that domestic violence is brought about by the lack of commitment in the marriage life.
Allison, Dorothy. Bastard Out of Carolina. New York, N.Y., U.S.A: Dutton, 1992. Print.
Blodgett, Madeline. Textual Healing: Queer Writing and Testimony in “bastard Out of Carolina”. 2009. Print.
Miller, Marcia. White Trash Shame: Social Oppression and the Psychological Affects of Poverty in Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina : a Thesis in English Literature. , 2008. Print.
Perebinossoff, Philippe. Real-world Media Ethics: Inside the Broadcast and Entertainment Industries. Amsterdam: Elsevier Focal Press, 2008. Print.