Bone People Essay, Research Paper
The Bone People- Relationships
Relationships surround us all though out lift. Everyone needs some type of relationship, whether it’s a friendship, family, or lover. People can’t last without them, no matter how different the relationships are. In the novel The Bone People, it’s based on the relationships between the three main characters; Kerewin, Joe and Simon.
The relationship between Kerewin and Joe was very odd. They have a type of relationship that they aren’t even sure about, they like each other, but don’t realize it. It’s starts off with Joe asking Kerewin: “Are you afraid of kissing,” and Kerewin answers “I don’t like kissing.” (pg: 265) It’s both a strange question and answer. Then later on in the page, Joe keeps on the topic by saying:
“I thought maybe someone had been bad to you in the past, and
that was why you don’t like people touching or holding you.”
“Ah damn it to hell,” she bangs the lamp down on the desk
and the flame jumps wildly.
“I said no. I haven’t been raped or jilted or abused in any fashion.
There’s nothing in my background to explain the way I am.” She
steadies her voice, taking the impatience out of it. “I’m the odd one
out, the peculiarity in my family, because they’re all normal and
demonstrative physically.” (pg: 265)
Joe is Sharing with Kerewin his feelings about family, and childhood. “I’ve often thought that maybe what happens to you as a child determines everything about you. What you are and what you do, and somehow, even the things that happen to you.” (pg: 226) He wants Kerewin to share some more things about her own life, and family.
The father son relationship between Joe and Simon is not like any normal relationship. Joe can be a good father at times, but is unfortunately abusive towards Simon.
“Eh, I don’t know why I hit you,” he says in a low voice,
talking more to himself than his child. “I’m drunk or I’m
angry, I’m not myself? even when it’s necessary to beat
you o I don’t know, it’s not like I’m hitting you, my son?”
Simons moves, and Joe looks down to see what he’s saying.
It feels like it is, says Simon wrily.
He closes his hands over the child’s small hands.
“Thank you for not holding grudges,” his voice lower still, husky
and shaking a little. “God knows I deserve your hate? but you
don’t hate,” he says wonderingly, “you don’t hate.” (pg:171)
Then after he hits him, he feels sorry for himself and apologizes to Simon about it. He does it no matter what type of state his in, whether it’s sober, or drunk. But then there’s the good side of Joe, the side that cares about his son. He’s talking to Kerewin about his son trying to get over the mother’s death in school, and the teacher’s want to put him into special schools and classes:
“They recommend an institution of some kind or the other.
For handicapped kids, you know the kind.”
He leans over and ruffles the boys hair.
“And they’ll put you in that kind of place over my dead
body,” he says grimly.
“Look,” he says, after a minute, “he’s bright. He can understand
anything you put into him, Kerewin. He doesn’t need special
care and attention. He just needs people to accept him. (pg: 50)
He sticks up for him, and provides Simon with the father figure that he needs. People think that he’s dumb just because he can’t talk and express himself very well.
Kerewin is more of a friend than a mother figure to Simon through out the novel. She does talk to Simon about family and her feelings, and what she’s like. Just about the only time through the novel where she shows her feelings to someone:
But she leans against the bunk post, and lets the guitar
Rest bellydown on her knees.
“You know what, my friend Gillayley? A family can be
the bane of one’s existence. A family can also be most of
the meaning of one’s existence. I don’t know whether my
family is bane or meaning, but they have surely gone away
and left a hole in my heart.”
She is very close to weeping and he has never known Kerewin
to cry. (pg: 242)
She can be mean or nice, she seems to be such a cold and restricted person when she’s around other people, like she’s scared of getting close to them. When Simon and Kerewin first meet and he has something in his foot, which makes him unable to walk:
She remembers the strained walk, and looks more closely, and
In his heel, rammed deep, is something; and the little crater
In the sandal comes back to mind. She shuts her eyes and, all
feeling in her fingertips, grazes her hand light as air over the
protrusion. Already the flesh round it is hot.
“I suppose I can’t expect you to walk away on that,” (pg: 18)
It’s strange how at first she was mean to him and uncaring, then something about him hit her soft spot. When they first met, she said things like: “What are you doing here? Aside from climbing walls?” Of course Simon couldn’t answer and she continued. “We’ll bloody soon find out,” saying it viciously, and reaching for a shoulder. It’s such a drastic change from being vicious to being a kind person helping out a friend in need.
Kerewin is the most difficult character in the novel The Bone People, to get a real feeling for. She’s complicated, and has a strange relationship with Joe, Simon and her family. It’s hard to understand her feelings towards each person in the novel. In the first couple of pages, Kerewin is by far the most dynamic in the book, and she has one major difference from the other two characters. Joe and Simon come across kind and gentle at first and then you begin to see their dark side. Whereas Kerewin comes across cold and stern and must be broken down to find the truth about her, her true feeling’s and what she keeps locked up inside of her, out of reach from others.