"Rule of The Bone" Literary Analysis

Essay by samm9887College, UndergraduateA-, April 2007

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Rule of the Bone, written by Russell Banks, is about a fourteen year old boy named Chappie, who struggles throughout the entire novel to find what he is looking for in life. In some ways, it seems like he wants a life with normal, reliable adults. At other times, it appears that he is just looking for a father figure. In the first few chapters of the book, Chappie seems like your average, rebellious teenager, looking for ways to gain attention by cutting his hair and getting piercings. Both his mother and stepfather were alcoholics and ignored him for the most part, and as an escape Chappie started using drugs and steals his mother's collection of valuable coins in order to pay for them. His mother becomes infuriated, and Chappie leaves and begins his search to find what he wants out of life.

After Chappie leaves his mother’s home, he moves in with his close friend Ross and the bikers.

He continues to turns to drugs to forget about his past problems as well as his current setbacks. We find out later that Chappie’s stepfather was abusive in many different ways. Perhaps he saw no other way to deal with the abuse then to leave his mother and stepfather’s home, because he left willingly. Chappie may see the bikers and Ross as a type of family, because they are all living together in the small apartment. Chappie continues to get into trouble, and has a problem with the police. Chappie steals from Victoria’s Secret and gets caught, and both his mother and stepfather go to the mall. Chappie is offered a chance to go back to live with his parents, but decides otherwise and remains living with Ross and the bikers. At the time, going back to live with...