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Chappie and Bone- Two Sides of the Same Coin

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Chappie and Bone- Two Sides of the Same Coin Rule of the Bone by Russell Banks tells of the story of a sexually abused teen drug addict named Chappie who becomes mature through a series of ordeals and his figurative rebirth. The story of Chappie is one of a troubled outlaw coming to term with the consequences of his own actions. Throughout the story, as Chappie encounters new people, such as The Adirondack Irons, I-Man, and Doc, his senses of morality, crime and drugs alters from an egocentric philosophy to an altruistic belief. Chappie is socially insecure and doesn't know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Since his mother and stepfather are both alcoholics and neither chooses to form a strong positive emotional attachment to Chappie, the only way for him to get the attention that any kid would crave is to do things so startling that they have no choice but to converse with him, hence the Mohawk haircut and the nose and ear piercing. ...read more.


The transformation from Chappie to Bone begins after the departure of Russ from the Ridgeway's home. Enraged and feeling betrayed, Chappie plans for his departure back to the school bus. The first evidence of the emergence of Bone is when Chappie "took out my nose ring... and my earrings too, and laid them on the counter" (130), something that he has not done for nearly a year. Furthermore, Chappie snips off his Mohawk so as to not stand out. He then takes out Mr. Ridgeway's gun and, this time with considerations, shatters a window. The broken window symbolizes his broken relationship with his past self and those that he thought he knew. He completed his transformation by emerging out of the window and telling the world his new identity, hollering out the broken window "The Bone! The Bone! The Bone rules!" (133). Bone, unlike Chappie, is mature and conscientious of both his actions and the actions of others. After meeting I-Man and converting to Rastafarianism, he realizes his independence and develops a sense of self and purpose. ...read more.


The addict like behavior he once exhibited has faded away along with his relationship with Russ. When he sees Russ getting in the car of Evening Star, he does nothing to stop him, thinking "it would have been me, if it hasn't been for Sister Rose and I-Man and everything I'd learned about myself" (384), leaving Russ to the whim of the powers that be. He now sees Russ as not someone to be revered, but someone who has put on a cloak of ignorance once worn by Chappie. The story of Bone is a tale of figurative rebirth and transformation, and the changes in his view of morality, drugs, and crime among other things. The actions of Chappie is not unlike that of hundreds of other urban youth that loiter back alleys, malls, and parking lots, panhandling, dealing drugs, shoplifting, and committing other transgressions just to survive in a world where their parents have abandoned them, not necessarily physically, but mentally, but rarely do those children experience the joy and wonder of the world and the lessons that Bone has experienced and learned from I-Man, Rose, and Bruce. ...read more.

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