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Coming-of-age novel; feminist novel; lesbian novel; bildungsroman; picaresque; Southern novel; mother/daughter novel
Molly Bolt, the protagonist
Point of view
The narrator speaks in the first person, and we experience everything through her subjective recollections, perceptions, and assumptions about events and other characters.
Humorous; irreverent; bawdy; polemical; candid
Past, with occasional passages in the present tense
The 1950s and the 1960s
Southern Pennsylvania; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; New York City
Molly Bolt struggles against institutional prejudices and other people’s hostility toward her because of her sexuality and liberal views in order to find her place in society and succeed in life.
As a seven-year-old, Molly starts an informal business that consists of charging other elementary school students to look at her friend Broccoli’s penis.
Molly’s mother, Carrie, finds out about Molly’s “business” and explodes in rage, calling Molly arrogant and immoral and revealing to Molly that she is a bastard child.
Molly lives in defiance of her mother, who desires for Molly to be ladylike and proper, as well as in defiance of anyone or anything that tries to keep her from being herself and reaching her goals.
-At the end of Chapter 5, Molly foreshadows that she will see Leota again later in the novel.
-Molly’s encounter with Mr. Beers in Chapter 7 foreshadows her unpleasant experience with Dean Marne in Chapter 10.
-Molly’s thinking about Carrie while she discusses her film aspirations in Chapter 12 foreshadows the movie she will make about Carrie for her senior project.
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